Sensory gardens are carefully crafted to stimulate the five basic senses of sight, smell, sound, touch and taste. From the gentle babble of water to edible flower patches, creating an immersive outside space can work wonders for our health.
"Sensory gardens provide a great deal of physical and mental benefits for different people and purposes," Sean McMenemy, Wildlife expert and founder of bird food provider Ark Wildlife, says.
"From getting vitamin D from sunlight to improving physical fitness by maintaining a garden, there are several physical benefits. Mentally, you can benefit from a mood boost and relaxation by spending time surrounded by calming stimulation."
Offering a calm space for reflection and meditation, sensory gardens are also incredibly beneficial for children, as well as those with learning disabilities. Many schools and care homes around the country often create their own sensory gardens to help improve the development of residents.
Want to create your own sensory garden? With the TikTok hashtag #SensoryGarden having over 484,000 video views, take a look at how you can recreate this garden trend below:
How to create a sensory garden
Step 1: Think about sight
A spirit-lifting sensory garden is all about creating a space that looks visually appealing. Plant colourful flowers that will change with the seasons, such as hydrangeas, chrysanthemums and dahlias. Don't forget to choose a range of foliage types, as well as trailing climbers to cover walls and fences.
"Those with balconies and window ledges can still plant colourful, sweet-smelling flowers and edible plants. This mini sensory garden can still provide the benefits and satisfaction of an outdoor garden," Melody Estes, landscape design gardening supervisor, says.
Step 2: Embrace sound
Sound is such an important dimension of a garden. Whether it's the soothing trickle of water, hanging wind chimes or chatter of wildlife, perhaps the most bewitching of all the sensory experiences in a garden is sound.
Melody says: "If you have a fountain or water feature on your property, consider adding some relaxing music to play alongside it. You could also place chimes near your front door to welcome people in."
Step 3: Don't forget smell
The scent of a garden can help ease anxiety, calm nervous minds and evoke particular memories. "Consider planting scented flowers or herbs like lavender, rosemary and thyme that will give off a lovely aroma when they bloom," suggests Melody.
Step 4: Touch
From rough bark to soft, hairy flowers, our sense of touch can make the garden an exciting place to explore. Planning your planting scheme? Consider using plants with soft leaves, such as ferns or grasses, that are texturally different.
Step 5: Finally, consider taste
"Planting herbs, fruits and vegetables not only provide tasty treats, but is a sustainable source of food," continues Melody. "Whether you're new to gardening or a seasoned pro, you can always improve your garden by adding some sensory elements."
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