The Great Outdoors

How to create a sensory experience in your own garden

It’s no secret that gardening is good for you.

Whether you love the exciting colours, evocative scents, delicious flavours, tactile appeal or just the calming rustling and movement of plants, there’s no doubt you can benefit, in many ways, from having them in your life.

How to create an immersive sensory experience

Immerse yourself in a sensory experience in August by filling your garden with plants that excite the senses with support from the ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign, supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers.

Colour plays a big part in garden design. Bold and bright colours such as yellow, orange and red are vibrant and uplifting, perfect for family gardens designed for play and entertaining.

In contrast, cool colours like blue, mauve, violet and green are more calming, and good to use around areas designed for rest and relaxation.

Sound is so important in a sensory garden too. Perhaps it’s wind gently rocking and rustling the branches of trees, a robin perched high-up entertaining us with its song, bees busily harvesting pollen and nectar from beautiful blooms, or the calming sound of trickling water.

A multi-sensory garden evokes a direct physiological response, both consciously and unconsciously, affecting our mood, relieving stress, evoking memories, relieving boredom, stimulating conversation, and tapping into the healing power of nature.

DO YOU FANCY SOME QUIET ‘ME TIME’?

Silent Space is a project promoting peaceful time in green and tranquil spaces – somewhere to switch off your phone, and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, stop talking, avoid social media, and let your body and mind wander.

Several gardens are supporting Silent Space including Waterperry Gardens and Greys Court in Oxfordshire, and the Island Pavilion at Croome in Worcestershire, with others are invited to join them.

PLANTS OF THE MOMENT:  PLANTS TO EXCITE THE SENSES

Virtually every plant will stimulate one sense or another, so this month we’re celebrating plants for all their diverse sensory appeal.

Here are some sensory plant display ideas:

Colourful plants:

Highlight plants for both seasonal colour impact and year-round value. Consider colour theming plant displays, and recommending planting partners.

Tactile plants:

Plants with soft, hairy or textured leaves, stems or bark such as ornamental grasses, mahonia ‘Soft caress’, santolina (Cotton lavender*), phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage), stachys byzantina (Lamb’s ear), itea illicifolia.

Scented plants:

Plants with fragrant flowers and foliage like lavender*, scented leaf pelargoniums, nepeta ‘Walker’s low’ (catnip), artemisa ‘Powis castle’ (wormwood)

Swaying and rustling plants:

Tall, graceful ornamental grasses like miscanthus, stipa, pennisetum, cortaderia (pampas grass) and bamboo.

Tasty plants:

Culinary herbs like sage, thyme, chives, parsley, basil and ornamental angelica, plus fruits from trees and bushes, soft fruits like strawberries, and vegetable crops and delicious fresh salad leaves straight from the garden!

Find out more here

lyndahamiltonparker
Lynda Hamilton Parker is a Scottish PR expert and independent publisher

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