This week’s topic is all about planting a sensory garden.
We as humans have five main senses, Sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing. I feel it is important to consider all of these senses when planting a garden as each one has a different key to unlocking the power of nature.
Only by allowing nature to enter through all our senses do we get the truly deep connection to nature and by being connected to nature we are more inclined to look after it, protect it, use it more wisely for generations to come.
Listening to the birds singing, or the breeze rustling the leaves, or the babbling of the stream as it passes over the rocks.
Looking at the different greens of the trees, the colours of the flowers and the sunshine filtering through the leaves.
Smell the scents of the flowers, leaves trees and even the soil. (Did you know the Petrichor is the smell of wet earth after the rain?) This is natural aromatherapy.
Feel the roughness or smoothness of tree bark, the softness of petals and leaves, feel the touch of the grass between your toes. Dip your fingers into the stream or pond.
Taste plants you can 100% identify, taste the water if it is from a suitable source. Gather some pine needles for pine needle tea, or some different herbs, like rosemary. (We are fortunate to have spring water here, but there are still areas I would not drink from without filtration or boiling due to the wildlife and livestock around!)
Activity for this week…
This week I want you to take a look around your garden space, what ever the size and think about how you can make your garden a feast for the senses!
This week think about planting. making or finding:
- 1 thing you can smell, a herb is usually a good place to start, but bear in mind mint likes to run wild so restrict it in a pot!
- One thing you like the look of, a pretty flower, a plant with interesting leaves, a bird feeding station to entice the birds in to sing for you.
- 1 thing you can eat, a strawberry plant is often a good one with small children, but plans for a mini veg garden maybe too? Homegrown tastes soooo much better than shop bought!!
- One thing you like the feel of, a particular trees bark, mullein for the soft lambs ear leaves (great TP in a pinch!! lol)
- Lastly one thing you like the sound of, I love bamboo rustles, moving water, but you could make wind chimes too! ( a caveat here, some types of bamboo like to run wild and grow EVERYWHERE!)
Some of what we have done to date…
I have planted bamboo and blossom trees and an acer by the stream, a very long term Japanese garden project, but eventually I hope to sit and look at cherry blossom in spring, acer colour in autumn, listen to bamboo leaves rustle and the stream babble its way downhill, from a bench and maybe bower we are planning in the orchard.
Nearer to the house I have planted herbs, both for their culinary properties, as well as their scents, beauty and medicinal properties. So far, we have lemon balm, rosemary, oregano, sage, lavender, a variety of mints and I hope to add thyme and a few more into the mix this year.
We have planted :
- Willow to add winter colours across a stark landscape.
- An orchard to provide blossom and food for our bees and fruit for us in autumn.
- A fruit and vegetable garden
- A natural dye garden
We have a large space so we factor wildlife homes in where we can, birdboxes, feeding stations, bat boxes, wildlife corridors to and from the woods, in the form of hedgerows all double stock fenced. An addition to the sensory garden in so many ways, allowing you to see the chicks emerge from the boxes, listen to the birds sing, watch them feed, listen for the snuffle of hedgehogs on the paths at night, watch bunnies dart from sight and watch the fox cubs play by the side of the lane. (Although I will say listening to the yowling of the fox at night hunting for a mate or seeing off a rival for its dinner is not so great! Usually right in the middle of the night and it sets off the dogs and nerves are a-jangling!)
We also have a Pinterest account if you would like to see what our inspirations are!
Pop a comment on to say what your plans are or what you have done or hop on over to FB to share what you have done in pictures!