Ideas to Create a Sensory Garden

Table of Contents

Gardens are places of serenity and relaxation. A sensory garden not only looks beautiful but has plants that taste, feel and smell good too. In a home garden, you might hit life’s pause button, reflect on your day, sip a refreshing drink, write in a journal, or just sit still and drink in all that nature has to offer. When you grow plants, you get the bonus of enjoying and sharing the fruits of your worthwhile labor with others.
shade garden filled with hosta, ferns, daylilies, heuchera and hellebores

A well-planned sensory garden will have plenty for the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and hands to savor. It will be a feast for all the senses. You don’t need much space or time, either. It can be as simple as some pots and planters or as extravagant as a meandering stone path with a waterfall. When planning what to include in a sensory garden, many items will fall into two or three categories of senses.

Sensory Garden Ideas for Sight

close-up of red, pink and golden yellow bougainvillea flowers

Ideas for Sounds in a Sensory Garden

freestanding water feature next to a patio and surrounded by a flower border

Many sounds are naturally part of a garden. You hear the wind rustling the leaves, the chatter of squirrels and the songs of the birds. A feeder filled with a songbird mix of birdseed will entice chickadees, finches, and cardinals to come sing for you. Wind chimes will generate a pleasing clink or jangle on breezy days.
A sensory garden water feature can add new sounds to your outdoor space as well as light and movement to attract your eyes.

Best Smelling Flowers for a Sensory Garden

beautiful pink and white oriental lilies planted next to a doorway

Choose your sensory garden plants according to the mood you wish to create in your garden.

Ways to Include Touch in a Sensory Garden

three decorative containers planted with mangave and ornamental grasses

From the feathery plumes of pampas grass and astilbe to the spikes of agave and yucca, there are so many textures that can be included in a garden. The sharp-pointed leaves of holly, the thorns on rose bushes, and the needles of the various kinds of cacti all look uninviting to touch. But it is fun to stroke the fronds of a fern or a Norfolk Island pine.

Sensory Garden Plants that Taste Good

raised beds containing flowering plants and edibles

Delicious plants complete the experience.

Benefits of a Sensory Garden

wooden pergola with a seating area surrounded by a meadow of perennial flowers and garden art

Getting out into nature is so important for our health. A sensory garden may be just the thing you need. After digging, pruning and watering, take some time to sit and relax as you watch, listen, smell, touch and taste the benefits of all your hard work. Whether you design a small container garden on your back patio or an abundant landscape, you and your loved ones can take pleasure in the natural habitat you created.
Another thing to consider growing in a sensory garden is edible flowers. They are flavorful, fragrant, and colorful!
orange and yellow naturtium flowers planted along a weathered fence


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