Sensory gardens: More than meets the eye – Gainesville Sun

Gardening Mag

Sensory gardens: More than meets the eye – Gainesville Sun

We commonly comment that gardens and landscapes are beautiful. These comments typically relate to the visual structure of the design. The mixture of colors, textures, forms and order created throughout a design are integral components to the design but are only a limited facet of an overall design.

Think about a garden you visited in your life — what do you remember? Is it just the visual aspects of the garden or do you begin to recall the smells and sounds or even the sensations of plants on your skin or taste of plants?

Proper gardens should evoke all our senses and should not rely on their visual quality. In some situations, designed gardens have areas specifically designed to engage very specific senses. We call these gardens sensory gardens. A sensory garden is truly appealing to everyone. Gardeners choose very specific plants to target each sense, which can allow participants to connect to nature and practice awareness.

Florida’s diverse collection of plant material allows us to plan and design our own sensory gardens. There are multiple ways to do so, but usually organizing the garden into different spaces engaging each sense individually is a great first step. Sometimes we can plan multi-sensory sections of the gardens too.

For sight, many traditional plant selections work great. I prefer plants with bold, contrasting colors. Although, when considering sensory gardens and their use as a healing garden, avoid grouping plants based on color blindness type. For
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