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Sensory bed

Shortly I want to include a sensory bed in my back garden. It will be small being only 5ft long and just over a foot wide and am looking for guidance on what to put into this minscule place. All assistance will be appreciated. Thank you.


  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 5,255

    Are you after something to satisfy all the senses? There were some sensory gardens at Chelsea this year.

    If it is a tiny bed - maybe some lovely smelling herbs. I have a bed next to the patio with different Thymes and brushing your hands over them is a delight! 

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Something grassy that rustles in the wind would be good but I do not know any varieties. Stachys would be good for touch with its soft velvety feel and lavender for smell. Nasturtiums for taste next year. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530

    A church near me has a sensory garden: four raised beds for sight (colourful foliage and flowers), touch (stachys and other fuzzy and bristly things), taste and scent (much alike with herbs and edible flowers). The fifth is a raised pond with solar powered fountain for sound.  In your limited space, there probably isn't room for a water feature, but maybe you could hang a wind chime? Or plant some tall grasses that would rustle in the breeze.

  • Because space s at a premium for smell and touch I was going to utelise Helichrysum italicum, the Curry Plant because you can run you hands through it, get the curry scent and even get the scent especially towards sunset of what has been a nice day. (What is one of those) For sight I have in mind some of the larger Allium varieties and also Swiss Chard. The sound would hopefully come from tall grasses with the wind moving them about. I have a few ideas but we will see how it comes out.

    Every year I attempt something a bit different, last year it was flower towers which was very successful and easy to do and after planting needed little upkeep beyond the norm.

    I must confess I did not think of a water feature but I am sure that I can squeeze in a small solar one that I already have. Just a simple pump and a series of suitably angled milk jugs all supplied from a larger bowl. All seconds from one of the Pottery companies.but it works.

    Thank you for all the suggestions but please keep them rolling in.   image

  • Juat a little update on my sensory bed experiment. I did have a solar powered water feature which sadly actually needed sunshine onto the cell to make it work and we all know what a rare thing that is. Solution replace solar pump with a small indoor aquarium pump but make sure all the electrics are in a water-proof box. With a timer it works just wonderfully and supplies enough sound of running water sometomes too much therefore a loo is worth having close by.

    I have planted a clump of  Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus') because of the gentle rustle as it sways in the wind. This variety will grow to 2m if allowed to but is very tactile. I have also included a small clump of Blue Grass (Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue' ) because it looks nice and compact and also a Black Mondo Grass ( Ophiopogon planiscarpus nigrescens)  again because it is unusual , tactile with a strange feel. Starts a few conversations too.

    I have interspersed these currently with some Shorter Allium bulbs and also some double tulips. Roll on Spring                    

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