How to Create a Sensory Garden


Sensory gardens are self-contained garden spaces that provide visitors with various sensory experiences. Visitors can choose to experience one or more senses, or they can experience all of them at once. A sensory garden can help promote learning about different sensory experiences and encourage curiosity about nature. There are many different types of sensory gardens, from naturalistic settings to those created by artists.

Stachys byzantina

The creeping perennial, Stachys byzantina, is one of our favorite Midwest plants. Its name, Stachys, is a reference to the rocky hillsides where it is native. These plants are known for their unique color and texture.

The leaves are velvety and feel made from a lamb’s ear. This soft plant’s foliage is excellent for sensory gardens. Some varieties even bloom.


You can create a sensory garden for young children by growing lavender. This flower is fragrant and pleasant all year round. It is also edible. If you want to include lavender in your garden, you can plant it alongside edible plants such as bee balm or chives, which are known for their flavor.

Lavender can be planted alone or in pots to create a focal point in a sensory garden. It can also be woven with other summer flowers and planted near paths and doors. The fragrance of lavender can also attract bees and butterflies. Another plant that can be grown for sensory gardens is the mock orange shrub. This plant is a good choice for a sensory garden because it has white blooms and an intoxicating scent. It grows well in most soils and will attract butterflies.

Wind chimes

Wind chimes are a beautiful way to add sound to your sensory garden. They can be made from various materials, including bamboo, earthenware, glass, stone, and metal. Wind chimes’ mellow tones will help relax and calm your garden.

Wind chimes can provide valuable sensory stimulation for seniors. Listening to the melodic tinkling of these musical instruments is a soothing experience that may even reduce stress. They can be placed close to a window or on a patio, balcony, or verandah. Wind chimes are native to China and are used to create music. They can be of varying sizes and sounds, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Plants with interesting textures

Plants with interesting textures are a lot of fun in a sensory garden. Woolley lamb’s ear is one popular plant for a sensory garden. Another plant that is often recommended is Aloe Vera. This succulent plant can survive in arid conditions but requires more water than other plants. It is instrumental in treating skin problems, such as sunburn.

Other great sensory plants are daffodils and tulips. They feature bright colors and are perennials, which means they will come back year after year. They also have many shapes, which give them added visual interest. They are also versatile and can be planted randomly, like in nature.


When planning your sensory garden, consider how scents affect different senses. Consider placing trees and flowers that emit scents. They will help you relax and stimulate the senses. You may want to add a water feature in the garden to attract insects and other wildlife. Plant aromatic plants near paths and seating areas. They will release beautiful scents when you walk on them. You can also plant aromatic flowers and space them apart from each other.

Aromatic trees are also an excellent choice for a sensory garden. Some aromatic trees include lavender, lemon balm, thyme, and peppermint. Some plants have more subtle scents, like chocolate cosmos and mock orange. Pine needles are another great choice because they release scents when crushed. Other plants that provide great fragrances include grass clippings and fresh mulch.

Bird feeders

Sensory gardens are perfect for people with dementia or other conditions that affect the senses. The natural environment is known to help people sleep better and improve their self-esteem. Adding bird feeders to the garden is one of the best ways to do this. It also increases the enjoyment and value of time spent outside.

The use of water features in a sensory garden creates different sensory experiences. For example, the soothing sound of water can help calm people or create a relaxing mood. Bird feeders, which invite feathered visitors, also provide the sound of birds’ songs.

Insect houses

Sensory gardens are a great way to help patients with dementia stay calm and interested. Plants that attract insects are ideal, especially those that have scented blossoms. Flowers such as butterfly weed and Echinacea purpurea attract insects, as well as the heart-shaped leaves of sweetheart hoya. Choose plants with varying heights and textures to appeal to all senses to encourage insect visitors.

When choosing plants for your sensory garden, consider the different scents that each plant produces. Try fragrant flowers, like scented leaf geranium. These flowers release their scent when touched or squeezed. Other fragrant plants include mint.