Sensory Garden Designs

The earth laughs in flowers.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sensory Garden Designs

A sensory garden is designed to stimulate the five senses - sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. Often used for therapeutic purposes, the sensory garden is a delight for all who visit.

Herbs are an excellent addition to the sensory garden, providing fragrance, taste and colour. Selecting plants for a sensory garden is an opportunity for you to be playful and imaginative.

Same, Same But Different

Plant distinct varieties such as Apple Mint and Pineapple Sage and encourage visitors to crush the leaves and breathe in the fragrance. Some plants look similar but can startle the senses - Geraniums leaves can release the unmistakable scent of a rose and lemon!

Plants to consider for the sensory garden:


  • • Soft-leaved plants such as Stachys (Lamb's Ear)
  • • Fleshy soft spikes on a Succulent
  • • Feathery spikes atop Fountain grass
  • • Soft fern fronds and large glossy leaf specimens for a shaded area


  • • Herbs, providing everything from woody and spicy fragrances through to fruit and citrus notes.
  • • Climbing roses, ranging from sweet to musky scents
  • • The sweet perfume of Freesia or Jasmine in Spring
  • • The peppermint leaves of Agonis flexuosa
  • • Large shrubs along pathways that release an aroma when visitors brush past such as Lavender, Artemesia and Rosemary.


  • • Parsley, Basil or Chives
  • • Loose leaf lettuces
  • • Fruit that can be picked and enjoyed in the garden - apples, pears, strawberries, and mandarins.
  • • Borage, viola, nasturtium and calendula have edible flowers


  • • Colourful blooms in a range of shapes
  • • Archways and arbours
  • • Twisting pathways urging the visitor to explore
  • • Baths and feeders to attract birds
  • • Movement of leaves


  • • Rustling of dry leaves from deciduous trees in Autumn
  • • Encourage bees to visit by planting flowering plants
  • • Birds will also enjoy the garden, adding their songs and chatter

Design considerations when developing a sensory garden:

  • • Use wide pathways, ramps instead of steps, and raised beds to create an accessible space for all visitors to enjoy the garden.
  • • Plan to have something of interest happening all throughout the year.
  • • Running water or Wind chimes

Contact Planted Passion today to begin designing a sensory garden to exercise the imagination and excite the senses.

Get a no-obligation, free quote for any of the services above.