From June to August, breathtaking scenery explodes in the Luberon region of Provence. Vast fields of pinkish purple, violet, and blueish-indigo stretch as far as the eye can see, lining quiet roads, covering valleys, and cascading over slopes. The gentle summer wind blows over the fields, awakening a floral and herbaceous scent that lingers in the air and the mind.You succumb to the temptation of walking barefoot on the warm earth and eating delicious cherries straight from the tree.
Across the globe, people scour the department stores tobring the fragrance of French lavender to their homes. This fresh, potent berry note with a light woody undertone is said to hold the power to soothe, relax, and ease a person’s anxieties. Christian Dior described this native scent as the “perfume of contented nature.” But no bottle of essential oil or perfume can capture what it’s like in Provence during summerwhen the lavender fields and orchards are in full bloom, and the rustling of the leaves are interspersed with birdsong and laughter.
Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
But you don’t have to travel all the way to France to experience this sensory feast. In fact, you can recreate it in your own backyard. With a little green thumb andplenty of imagination, you can transform any landscape into a stimulating and therapeutic garden.
What is a Sensory Garden?
As the name suggests, a sensory garden is a self-contained area that’s resplendent withlush plantings, aromatic plants, splashes of color, and other elements that engage and enrich all the sensory systems. Below are the key components to have in your garden of delight:
Touch: Tactile Nourishment for the Soul
Creating Visual Interest with Colors and Textures
The plant world is brimming with colors, shapes, and special features to create a breathtaking visual environment in your yard. Group plants of different sizes, shapes, and colors together to provide contrast. Keep the seasons in mind, though, when planting varying colors. During winter, for example, plant bulbs to add color. Plant white blooms in the spring and summer so they offer a stark contrast with green foliage. Choose plants and trees that
Sounds for the Senses
There are many ways to bring sounds to the garden. Wind chimes, moving water, birdsong, crunching gravel, wind whistling between leaves – you name it. Attracting birds and wildlife is a surefire way to enjoy a variety of soundscape from dawn to dusk. To achieve this, plant nectar-producing flowers and include a birdbath or feeders.
Moving water is another relaxing sound. Install a waterfall or fountain near seating areas. Hang wind chimes made of different materials, like beads, seashells, metal, and bamboo and enjoy hypnotic sounds when the wind blows. Crushed gravel also creates a satisfying sound when you walk over it so you may want to use this material for narrower pathways.
Mingling Aromas to Entice Emotions
The Delights of Fresh Herbs and Fruit
Trail of Discovery
All gardens are made for pleasure and are designed to be admired while you sit in the porch enjoying afternoon tea. But sensory gardens are a little more interactive. They are best experienced up close, gradually, as you walk along a route and relish in every feature you come across along the way. Making the entire garden accessible enriches this experience, which can be achieved by creating a well-defined route or a series of routes that encourage exploration.
Sensory gardens tickle not only the senses but also the imagination. They help stimulate the mind, reenergizes the spirit, and make a great contribution to a person’s emotional and physical health. And more importantly, they can be beautiful places to contemplate, meditate, reflect, and relax.
38-year old supervisor of an organic produce company. In-charge of overseeing greenhouse efficiency five days a week.