sensory garden is to be attractive to the senses by using plants which have a strong appeal to sight, smell, and touch. A sensory garden can have special importance for gardeners, friends and family with impaired senses. The aim is to construct a garden using plants which appeal to the senses which are tactile and strongly scented.
To allow freedom of access in a sensory garden, plants are best incorporated into raised beds surrounded by hard landscaping of a generous width, for easy access ensuring visitors and gardeners alike can reach, touch and enjoyed garden. In a sensory garden, the choice of plants and flowers is centered on those which are especially good to be enjoyed by touch and smell.
The image center above shows a great plant for a sensory garden, Stachys byzantina 'Big Ears' which has lovely downy leaves which are so soft to touch and will trail downwards if planted in a raised bed. Stachys only produce a single, soft flower spike with pale lavender flowers (which are very attractive to bees,) but the leaves are irresistible to touch.
Grasses make a great addition in a sensory garden both because they create movement and will sway, dance and drift around on a breeze. In addition many grasses have fluffy plumes, illustrated on the grasses pages, and so they are tactile.
Scent is very important in any garden and especially a sensory garden. Lavender and rosemary produce scent to the touch and are ideally planted where visitors will brush along the plant releasing the scent.
There are a number of pelargoniums (also known as geraniums) which have strongly scented leaves when stroked or picked such as 'Aroma', crispum 'Variegatum', (lemon scented leaves) 'Fragrans', (pine scented) 'Graveolens' of gardens, (sweet scented) 'Old Spice' (spicy scented) 'Prince of Orange', (orange scented) Sweet Mimosa, and many more. These are available from specialist growers, but they are not hardy and must be overwintered under glass in frost free environment. Pelargoniums will survive well in a conservatory tolerating the extremes of heat and produce colour and scent as part of an indoor garden. In a raised bed they are colourful and the leaves will release a variety of scents when touched.