How to create a sensory garden




Photo: RHS / Sarah Cuttle/Ideal Homes / Casa.com

All gardens are rich in sights, sounds, aromas, textures and flavors, but one sensory garden amplifies each of these vital elements and envelops everyone who passes in a cocoon of well-being and pleasure.

The more senses we engage, the richer the experience – already you will have a sensitive attention to detail and turn your garden into a sensory feast. So let your imagination run wild to create a bespoke space that will excite you, your friends and family.



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Photo: Pinterest/Reproduction / Casa.com

Focus on the feeling of security and seclusion, as these feelings are what will make you want to stay. They are carefully designed to be in tune with how we experience everything we see, hear, smell, touch and feel in the garden.



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Photo: Balcony Garden Web/Reproduction / Casa.com

This is more important than ever in a post-Covid world as we are all enjoying outdoor spaces that make us feel happy and safe, especially for our mental health.

But, planning one requires a certain amount of extra care. With the five senses – sight, smell, sound, touch and taste – in the foreground, you’ll be able to fill the place with some very special ideas. See some:

bring light



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Photo: Future PLC/Tim Young/Ideal Homes/Casa.com

Plan areas of light and shade, maximizing natural light where it’s needed – it lifts the spirits and makes even the most compact outdoor space feel airier.

One mirror will do the trick of effectively doubling the available lighting, however, always be careful never to place reflective surfaces in the hot sun (due to the risk of fire), or where birds can fly over them and get hurt.

Scents front and center



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Photo: Future PLC/Claire Lloyd Davies/Ideal Homes/Casa.com

Flowers in sensory gardens have a dual function: color and shape, as well as fragrance. There’s great delight in a beautifully scented space, whether it’s the fragrant scent as you run your hands through the lavender, or the fresh scent of basil. Make a selection of fragrant plants.

It is recommended to place them along a path, in vases near doors or as part of a scented border.

Enjoy the natural sounds



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Photo: Future PLC/Colin Poole/Ideal Homes / Casa.com

Whether it’s the gentle hum of a water fountain – a simple solar-powered model will do the trick – grasses in the breeze, gentle wind chimes, happy birdsong or a pollinator, natural sound is crucial. Include seedlings that make quiet noises when the wind passes them.

And to create a living dimension to these sensory sounds, encourage wildlife by planting insect-attractive species and hanging bird feeders and insect houses or hotels.

a touch of comfort



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Photo: future PLC/Claire Lloyd Davies/Ideal Homes / Casa.com

When you’re relaxing in your sensory garden, you’ll want to feel comforted and pampered. Think natural fibers or vintage fabrics when choosing furniture for the space, which should also be as comfortable and organic as possible.

Focusing on natural pieces will help produce an authentic and welcoming environment. Go for muted, understated hues like pale green, terracotta, and delicate mustard over dramatic drab tones or harsh contrasts.

Taste your homemade herbs



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Photo: Future PLC/Tim Young/Ideal Homes/Casa.com

Being able to harvest a handful of fresh homemade herbs – basil, rosemary, oregano and the curry plant ( Helichrysum italicum), which have amazing scents – it’s the simplest and most cost-effective way to feel a tangible connection to your garden.

You can also grow easy vegetables and fruits in pots like tomatoes, raspberries and strawberries.

Find a place to focus



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Photo: Reproduction/decoist / Casa.com

In addition to a lush mix of tropical and native plants, choose to add a number of understated deck ideas for contemplation. However, if you’re short on space, why not create a corner with a natural bench or a hanging chair in a quiet corner, protected from the noise of the rest of the house? Perfect for reading a book or resting.

share your environment



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Photo: Future PLC/David Giles/Ideal Homes/Casa.com

While it looks plentiful, with flowers, scents, light, shade (don’t forget, you’ll need shade ideas to protect yourself from the hot sun and occasional rain) and relaxing elements, your garden should also be organized.

When considering layout ideas, think about zoning to help you understand all the different senses you are appealing to. You can have an ‘excitement’ zone in a sunny spot, with flowers in warm, vibrant colors like oranges and reds for example. Or a ‘touch zone’ with evergreens or glossy or textured leaves.

Always work with nature



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Photo: Future PLC/David Giles/Ideal Homes/Casa.com

If you have an urban backyard or country land, it is highly likely that beyond your own boundaries there is something beyond to provide a natural context for your ideas.

So when planning your sensory garden, place crucial elements such as water features, seating and contemplation areas to take advantage of the trees, shrubs and attractive views in the background. A hammock hanging from a stand under a neighbor’s shade can help you feel connected to nature.

Enjoy the night garden



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Photo: Future PLC/Colin Poole/Ideal Homes / Casa.com

As the sun sets and night begins to fall, this space can become even more stimulating. Bring in relaxing elements like soft lighting, a canopy, candle or pergola, and look at garden trellis ideas to add fragrant climbing plants like jasmine and honeysuckle – the scent is always strongest at night.

Stimulate all the senses



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Photo: RHS / Sarah Cuttle/Ideal Homes / Casa.com

Look for easy ideas that help keep everything together. While it’s good to have specific elements dedicated to stimulating and enhancing each sense, also consider the overall palette of the environment, which should be calm and relaxing.

* Via Ideal Home

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