Immerse yourself in a sensory experience by filling your garden with plants that excite the senses. Whether it’s their exciting colours, evocative scents, delicious flavours, tactile appeal or just their calming rustling and movement, we benefit in many ways from having plants in our lives.

Plants can create vibrant and stimulating gardens for families to play out and entertain, using bold shapes and bright colours that stimulate the senses. Children can be encouraged outside to explore, interacting with sensory plants and the natural world around them.

In complete contrast plants can be used to make calming, private and secluded spaces. A tranquil garden that calms the senses is the perfect place to sit and relax, or just meditate and practice mindfulness … relieving stress and improving mental health and wellbeing.

Colour plays a big part in garden design (see the April promotion). Bold and bright colours like 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.

Tall and dense boundary hedges and planting can reduce annoying man-made noise from roads and neighbours, creating a feeling of shelter and protection, but don’t ignore the importance of sound in a sensory garden either. 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.

Whether you’re creating a stimulating garden or relaxing sensory environment, all gardens have the power to heal and contribute to a healthier and happier life. And getting outside gardening provides exercise as well as a sense of achievement.

Research has highlighted how valuable contact with plants is to our health, whether through the beauty and colour we can see or non-visual stimulation by touching, tasting, smelling or hearing the natural sounds around us. 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 in to the healing power of nature.

What plants will excite your senses - colourful, tactile, scented, rustly or tasty? 
See our ideas for sensory plants.