Garden

Stimulate the Senses: Creating your Own Sensory Garden

A busy daily life can often lead to many of us struggling to reignite our love with the natural environment that surrounds us. Studies have found that spending time outdoors can better your mental health, as the fresh air and wildlife helps to keep us calm and grounded. 

A sensory garden not only allows you to connect more with nature but promotes the basic principles of mindfulness. They can also aid in the development of those with special educational needs and people suffering from dementia. 

If you’re wanting to design your own sensory oasis, follow these top tips to achieve a tranquil sanctuary in your garden.

Sight

Once you have decided on the layout of your garden, a great place to start is with the visual aspect. Introduce radiant and colourful flowers such as peonies, sunflowers and tulips to create a feast for the eyes. Consider the changing of the seasons to ensure that you have an array of flowers that bloom during each quarter of the year.

As well as natural elements, utilise differing light sources such as outdoor candles and lanterns to provide pockets of ambient lighting throughout your sensory garden. Place lights along pathways for accessibility or in a reading nook in a quiet corner.  

Sound

The soothing sound of trickling water can be incorporated through fountains or waterfalls in your outdoor space. Place a water feature near a seating area to construct a peaceful setting perfect for practising meditation. 

Planting wildflowers will attract the buzz of the bees and other pollinators, and implementing a bird bath will keep the birds happily tweeting their way throughout the year. As well as providing a boost for your local eco-system, you’re encouraging different sounds across your garden.

Smell

Aromatic plants such as roses, jasmine and lavender all work wonderfully as stimulants for your sense of smell. Opting to plant fragrant flowers in sheltered areas is a clever way for the plants to retain their scent for longer, like in enclosed courtyards. 

If you’re a whizz in the kitchen, consider adding an herb garden. They’re multi-sensory, stimulating both taste and smell, as fresh herbs such as mint and rosemary provide strong aromas and impactful flavours.

Touch

Make the most of different textures and surfaces, creating a contrast of soft, rough, smooth and hard elements. Lamb’s ear has naturally soft, furry leaves which juxtaposes the spiky, round flower of globe thistles. 

Both your walls and pathways also provide differing textures to touch and hear. Smooth pebbles to carve out paths can guide those who struggle with sight around the garden.

Taste 

As well as a herb garden, planting a vegetable patch and berry trees will provide your garden with a fruitful bounty of seasonal foods to tingle your taste buds.

British staples such as blackberries, strawberries and carrots are great for harvesting throughout the year, so anyone who visits can savour the flavours that the garden produces. 

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