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Creating a Sensory Garden at Home: A Howling Mad Venture for the Horticulturally Inclined

submitted on 4 June 2023 by homeandgardenlistings.co.uk

What in the Hell is a Sensory Garden?

For those of you who have wandered into the wild world of gardening, but have yet to stumble upon the term, allow me to enlighten you. A sensory garden, my friends, is a mad concoction of plants designed to incite all of your senses. We're talking sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch - it's like a wild trip through your very own garden wonderland.

The idea is to engage with nature on a deeper and more primal level, like the days when we roamed the Earth with nothing more than a loincloth and a crude spear. Only this time, you're doing it in the comfort of your own backyard, with no fear of being eaten alive by a saber-toothed tiger.

Choosing the Right Plants for Your Sensory Soiree

Once you've decided to embark on this wild expedition of horticulture, you'll need to select a variety of plants that stimulate each of the senses. But fear not, for I have scoured the depths of botanical knowledge to provide you with the following suggestions:


  • Heavenly Bamboo: This plant is a feast for the eyes with its fiery red foliage in the fall, coupled with its sprays of delicate white flowers come spring.
  • Japanese Painted Fern: A true work of art, this fern displays a vibrant array of silvers, purples, and greens that would make even the most discerning artist swoon.
  • Black-Eyed Susan: An explosion of color, this hardy and resilient plant produces a burst of bright yellow petals surrounding a dark, central eye.


  • Jasmine: The intoxicating scent of jasmine will transport you to another world, filled with the sweet smell of its dainty white flowers.
  • Rosemary: This fragrant herb not only offers a delightful aroma but also doubles as a culinary treat in your favorite dishes.
  • Gardenia: A classic and elegant plant, the gardenia's large, creamy-white blooms emit a powerful and alluring fragrance.


  • Bamboo: The tall, slender stalks of bamboo offer a unique auditory experience as they rustle and knock together in the breeze.
  • Fountain: Introducing a water feature, such as a fountain or a small stream, can create soothing, natural sounds to enhance your sensory experience.
  • Grasses: Ornamental grasses, like pampas or fountain grass, will sway and whisper in the wind, adding an auditory element to your garden.


  • Blueberries: This tasty fruit not only offers a burst of flavor for your palate but provides a pop of color in your garden with its clusters of delicate white flowers and deep blue berries.
  • Tomatoes: Homegrown tomatoes put the store-bought variety to shame with their rich and sun-ripened flavor, making them a must-have in any sensory garden.
  • Mint: Along with its refreshing scent, mint leaves can be plucked straight from the plant and added to a cool summer drink or a zesty sauce.


  • Lamb's Ear: Aptly named for its soft, fuzzy leaves, this plant is practically begging to be stroked and petted.
  • Moss: Add a touch of the forest floor to your garden with patches of velvety, cushion-like moss.
  • Pussy Willow: These fuzzy, grey catkins are a tactile treat for fingers itching to touch and explore.

Arrange Your Garden of Sensory Delights

Now that you've selected your motley crew of sensory plants, it's time to arrange them in a way that will maximize their impact and create a truly immersive experience. Consider these tips as you plot your garden's design:

  • Group plants with similar water and light requirements together to ensure their survival and success.
  • Create a diverse landscape by varying the heights, textures, and colors of your plants.
  • Don't forget to include seating, such as benches or large rocks, where you can pause and fully engage with your sensory garden.
  • If space allows, create winding paths or stepping stones to guide visitors through the garden and encourage exploration.

So, there you have it - a guide to creating your very own sensory garden, an experience that will assault your senses and leave you begging for more. And who knows? You may even find yourself frolicking about your garden in a loincloth, spear in hand, channeling your inner caveman.


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