What are they and how can you create your own sensory garden ?
If you are a gardener, it is likely that you, like us, love to touch, smell and taste plants – It’s not weird! When we garden, we like to gaze at plants, run our hands over the leaves and petals, and bring our noses down to take in the beautiful scent. Something about this brings us great pleasure – to know that we have planted and cared for such a beautiful thing and then to have the joy of partaking of it with all of our senses!
Sensory gardens are excellent therapy for people with emotional and physical challenges and anyone who wants to engage all of their senses in their garden. Here are our favourite plants to touch, taste, and smell.
You don’t have to create a specific sensory garden to enjoy the experience, but it is a wonderful experience and something unique to share with others. If time or space does not allow for such a venture, try incorporating some of these beautiful plants in your garden and home landscape.
Plants for sight
Delphinium – This upright burst of colour grows to 120cm in height with flowers in white, pink, lavender, blue, purple, or even multi-toned. These plants are stunning in any garden setting and do well as long as they are protected from the wind and get plenty of sunlight.
Sunflower – Just the thought of a sunflower makes me smile. With their huge happy faces, sunflowers come in a wide variety of sizes — some reaching up to 3m — with colours ranging from a brown hue to a bright yellow or orange. These late-season bloomers also provide food for birds and other seed-eating animals.
Plants to smell
Creeping thyme – This low-growing, mounding plant reaches about 15cm tall with a 30cm spread. It smells so lovely when you rub the leaves between your fingers or step on it, making creeping thyme a popular groundcover.
Daffodils – Who can resist the smell of a daffodil in spring? In fact, when you fill a garden space with these easy-to-grow bulbs, your whole yard will smell spectacular, so open your windows and enjoy. Daffodils are hardy, growing up to 1m in full sun.
Plants to taste
Chives – Not only are chives pretty garden plants, but they are super tasty as well. These clumping plants grow about 30cm high, and the stalks have a mild, onion-like taste.
Mint – Keep this prolific herb in containers, or it will for sure take over your garden, and your sidewalk…and your patio. Mint comes in all sorts of flavours like spearmint, peppermint and orange mint, to name a few. Mint is delicious in tea, salad, or desserts.
Plants to touch
Lamb’s ear – This velvet-leaved plant reached about 45cm tall and spread over 30cm. The fuzzy and furry leaves and stems are super soft and bring a sense of relaxation when touched. Grown as a beautiful groundcover, this hardy perennial likes full sun to part shade and produces a pretty lavender flower.
Chenille – This tropical beauty thrives in the warmest growing zones but is often grown in containers or even as a houseplant. Its furry red cattails are like super soft pipe cleaners and delight the senses when you run your fingers through them. Plant in hanging baskets and provide plenty of sun and moisture for a brilliant display.
Remember, all these plants can be nourished with PBR International’s DynaGro liquid fertiliser. DynaGro is safe to use around your pets, children and bees as it is 100% environmentally friendly.