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Ideas to ignite all five senses in your garden

It’s natural to think of a garden as a purely visual delight. An array of plant colours, flower and leaf shapes will provide lots of variation. Tall grassy plants that sway in the wind also provide movement and there is usually a flutter of wings somewhere too.

What about the other senses though? How can we engage those for a full sensory experience for both adults and children to explore?

Smell

Flowers are the obvious answer to an aromatic outdoor space. There are huge number of strongly perfumed flowers, but herbs are a great way to introduce smell too. Rosemary, sage, mint and basil are just a few of the many herbs that not only smell nice but can be used in the kitchen too.

Touch

You can create texture in many ways. Different leaves can be smooth or rough. If you’ve space for trees, the bark invites hands to run over its bumpy surface. Different path and play area surfaces provide sensation for the feet and challenge for your balance. Creating sheltered sun traps and shady spots will help maximise the warm-to-cool contrast on your skin as well.

Sound

Introduce flowers that attract the bees and you will have their pleasant buzz in your garden for weeks. You could add some water features that bubble or fall down rocks for the sound of water running. If your garden catches the breeze, some well-placed wind chimes create a peaceful mood too.

Taste

Plant fruit trees or berry yielding plants for a fresh snack and treat for the taste buds. After all the hard work preparing your sensory garden, taste can come from a well-earned drink of your choice too, of course!

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