Best Sensory Garden Plants: Enrich your Outdoor Experience


A sensory garden is a sanctuary of sensory delight, carefully curated to engage and captivate the senses, offering a therapeutic and immersive outdoor experience for individuals of all ages and abilities. In this article, we embark on a journey through the enchanting realm of sensory plants, discovering how they enrich our connection with nature while fostering relaxation, stimulation, and overall well-being. Join us as we explore the beauty and wonder of the best sensory garden plants, each offering its unique sensory experience to awaken the senses and soothe the soul.

best sensory garden plants


What Are Sensory Plants?

Sensory plants encompass a diverse array of botanical wonders that tantalise and engage our senses on multiple levels. These remarkable plants have the remarkable ability to stimulate one or more of our five senses—sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste—creating a rich and immersive sensory experience in any garden setting.

From vibrant blooms that catch the eye to fragrant blossoms that perfume the air, from velvety leaves that beckon to be touched to rustling grasses that whisper in the breeze, and from flavourful herbs that tempt the palate to plants that produce soothing sounds, sensory plants offer a multifaceted journey of discovery and delight. Join us as we explore the enchanting world of the best sensory garden plants, each contributing its unique essence to the sensory tapestry of the garden landscape.

best sensory garden plants


The Benefits of the Best Sensory Garden Plants

The therapeutic effects of sensory plants extend far beyond mere aesthetics, with research revealing a myriad of benefits for individuals, especially those with sensory processing disorders, dementia, or autism spectrum disorders. Best sensory garden plants offer a holistic approach to wellness, providing a multisensory experience that engages the mind, body, and spirit.

Studies have shown that exposure to these plants can significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels, uplift mood, enhance cognitive function, and facilitate sensory integration. Whether it’s the calming fragrance of lavender, the velvety touch of lamb’s ear, or the soothing rustle of ornamental grasses, sensory plants play a vital role in promoting emotional well-being and fostering a deeper connection to the natural world.

best sensory garden plants


Best Sensory Garden Plants for Smell

In a sensory garden, the sense of smell is tantalised by a variety of aromatic plants, each offering unique fragrances that evoke different emotions and sensations. The best sensory garden plants for the sense of smell include:


Known as the quintessential aroma for relaxation, lavender emits a calming fragrance that soothes the mind and body, promoting stress relief and peacefulness. Its delicate purple blooms add a touch of elegance to any garden space.


With its invigorating scent reminiscent of pine and citrus, rosemary stimulates the senses and sharpens focus. This aromatic herb is known for its ability to improve memory and concentration, making it an excellent addition to outdoor spaces where mental clarity is desired.


The refreshing aroma of mint awakens the senses and rejuvenates the spirit. Whether it’s spearmint, peppermint, or chocolate mint, this versatile herb offers a burst of coolness that can help alleviate nausea, soothe headaches, and aid digestion.


The intoxicating fragrance of jasmine evokes feelings of romance and serenity. With its sweet, floral aroma, jasmine promotes relaxation and emotional balance, making it a popular choice for sensory gardens where tranquillity is key.

Lemon Balm

As its name suggests, lemon balm emits a bright, citrusy scent that uplifts the mood and invigorates the senses. This refreshing herb is known for its calming properties, helping to alleviate stress and promote a sense of freshness and vitality in the garden.

Each of these aromatic plants adds depth and character to a sensory garden, providing visitors with an olfactory journey that delights the senses and enhances overall well-being.

best sensory garden plants


Best Sensory Garden Plants for Touch

In a sensory garden, the sense of touch is awakened by plants with a variety of textures, inviting visitors to explore and connect with nature through tactile experiences. The best sensory garden plants for the sense of touch include:

Hens and Chicks

The succulent leaves of hens and chick plants offer a unique tactile experience, with their plump, rubbery texture inviting gentle exploration. These resilient plants provide a satisfying sensation when touched, making them an engaging choice for sensory gardens where hands-on interaction is encouraged.

Fountain Grass

The feathery plumes of fountain grass sway gracefully in the breeze, offering a tactile experience that is both calming and mesmerising. Running your hands through the soft, wispy foliage can evoke a sense of serenity and connection to the natural world, making fountain grass an ideal choice for sensory gardens designed for relaxation and contemplation.

Pampas Grass

With its long, silky plumes, pampas grass provides a luxurious tactile experience that exudes elegance and sophistication. The silky texture of its ornamental plumes invites gentle caresses, offering a sensory indulgence that adds a touch of glamour to any garden setting.

Purple Coneflower

The sturdy, daisy-like petals of purple coneflowers offer a slightly rough texture that encourages tactile exploration. Running your fingers along the surface of their petals provides a satisfying sensation that appeals to the sense of touch, making purple coneflowers a delightful addition to sensory gardens where hands-on engagement is encouraged.

Lamb’s Ear

With its soft and velvety leaves, lamb’s ear provides a tactile sensation that is irresistibly comforting and soothing. Running your fingers along the surface of its fuzzy foliage can evoke feelings of warmth and tranquillity, making it a beloved addition to any sensory garden.

Each of these tactile plants adds depth and interest to a sensory garden, inviting visitors to engage with nature in a meaningful and immersive way.

best sensory garden plants


Best Sensory Garden Plants for Sight

In a sensory garden, visual appeal plays a crucial role in creating an inviting and enchanting environment. Here are some of the best sensory garden plants that captivate the sense of sight:


Sunflowers are iconic for their vibrant yellow petals and towering height, making them a cheerful addition to any garden landscape. Their bold and sunny disposition adds a burst of colour and joy, inviting admiration from visitors of all ages.

Japanese Maple

The Japanese maple is renowned for its exquisite foliage, which comes in an array of captivating colours ranging from fiery reds and oranges to rich purples. Its delicate leaves and elegant silhouette make it a striking focal point in any garden setting, captivating the eye with its beauty and grace.


Peonies are beloved for their lush and extravagant blooms, which come in a variety of hues, including shades of pink, white, and red. Their large, fragrant flowers and lush foliage create a sense of abundance and opulence, drawing attention and admiration from all who behold them.


Hydrangeas are prized for their voluminous clusters of flowers, which range in colour from delicate blues and pinks to vibrant whites and purples. Their abundant blooms and lush foliage add a touch of romance and charm to any garden, creating a picturesque scene that delights the senses.


Daylilies are celebrated for their vibrant and prolific blooms, which come in an endless array of colours, shapes, and sizes. Their trumpet-shaped flowers and sturdy stems make them a versatile choice for adding colour and texture to garden borders, attracting attention and admiration from passers-by.

Each of these sensory garden plants offers a visual feast for the eyes, enriching the outdoor experience with their beauty and charm. Whether it’s the towering stature of sunflowers, the exquisite foliage of Japanese maples, or the abundant blooms of peonies, these plants captivate the imagination and inspire wonder in all who behold them.

best sensory garden plants


Best Sensory Garden Plants for Sound

In a sensory garden, sound plays a vital role in enriching the overall experience, adding depth and dimension to the outdoor environment. Below are some of the top plants that will get your garden humming with sound:


Marigolds are vibrant, sun-loving annuals that come in shades of orange, yellow, and red. Their cheerful blooms attract bees with their bright colours and sweet nectar, creating a gentle buzzing sound as the bees visit the flowers. The soft hum of bees around marigolds adds a soothing and harmonious element to the garden, enhancing its auditory appeal.


Amelanchier, also known as serviceberry, is a deciduous shrub or tree that produces clusters of white flowers in spring, followed by edible berries. The sweet song of birds attracted to serviceberry bushes fills the air with delightful melodies, adding a natural and enchanting sound to the garden.

Ornamental Grasses

The rustling sound of ornamental grasses in the breeze provides a calming backdrop that promotes relaxation and mindfulness. These grasses sway gently in the wind, producing a gentle whispering sound that adds a sense of tranquillity to the garden.

Blue Flag Iris

Blue flag iris is a beautiful and versatile plant that not only adds aesthetic appeal to the garden but also attracts dragonflies with its vibrant blooms and foliage. Its striking blue or purple flowers and sword-shaped leaves provide a stunning backdrop for any water feature or pond. Dragonflies are attracted to the water’s edge, where they can perch on the iris leaves and hunt for insects, making blue flag iris an excellent choice for creating a dragonfly-friendly habitat in the garden.


With its hollow stems and swaying foliage, bamboo creates a rhythmic sound as it sways in the wind, bringing a sense of tranquillity to the garden. The gentle rustling of bamboo leaves adds a soothing background melody, enhancing the overall ambience of the outdoor space. Bamboo can also be used to create garden features and be a mode of transport for water through your garden, making it a highly versatile plant when wanting to add a touch of tranquillity to your space.

best sensory garden plants


Best Sensory Garden Plants for Taste

In a sensory garden, the sense of taste can be awakened and delighted by the presence of flavourful and edible plants. Explore this selection of plants that are sure to enlighten your tastebuds:


These vibrant red berries are not only visually appealing but also tantalising to the taste buds. Whether enjoyed fresh from the garden or incorporated into desserts, strawberries offer a burst of sweetness that delights the senses. With their aromatic fragrance and juicy texture, strawberries are undoubtedly one of the best sensory garden plants for those craving a flavourful experience.

Edible Flowers

Adding a pop of colour and flavour to dishes, edible flowers like nasturtiums, violets, and pansies offer a unique sensory experience. These delicate blooms can be used to garnish salads, desserts, and beverages, infusing dishes with floral notes and visual appeal. Incorporating edible flowers into the garden not only adds beauty but also elevates the dining experience with their subtle yet distinct taste.


Bursting with sweetness and natural goodness, berries such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and currants are a delectable addition to any garden. These juicy fruits offer a refreshing taste that delights the palate and provides a satisfying sensory experience. Whether eaten fresh, baked into pies, or blended into smoothies, berries are among the best sensory garden plants for those craving a flavourful treat.

Lettuce and Greens

Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and kale are not only nutritious but also offer a variety of textures and flavours that stimulate the palate. From crisp and refreshing to tender and earthy, these greens provide a sensory experience with every bite. Whether enjoyed in salads, sandwiches, or wraps, lettuce and greens add freshness and flavour to meals while promoting healthy eating habits.


Culinary herbs such as basil, parsley, and cilantro not only enhance the taste of dishes but also provide a sensory experience with their aromatic leaves. Whether used in cooking, garnishing, or even as tea, herbs stimulate the taste buds and add depth of flavour to a wide range of culinary creations. With their versatility and culinary benefits, herbs are a must-have in any sensory garden.

best sensory garden plants


NGS can Provide the Best Sensory Garden Plants

At NGS, we recognise the significance of integrating sensory-rich elements into garden designs to foster well-being and engagement. Our team of experts specialises in curating gardens that cater to individual preferences, needs, and objectives, ensuring the incorporation of the best sensory garden plants tailored to your unique vision.

Expert Consultation

Our knowledgeable team offers personalised consultations to understand your requirements and preferences. Whether you seek a calming oasis, a stimulating play area, or a therapeutic retreat, we work closely with you to identify the best sensory garden plants that align with your goals.

Plant Selection

With our expertise in horticulture, we guide you in selecting the most suitable sensory plants for your garden. From fragrant blooms and textured foliage to vibrant colours and edible delights, we curate a diverse range of plant species to stimulate the senses and enhance your outdoor experience.

Custom Garden Design

NGS specialises in designing custom garden layouts that prioritise your sensory needs. We seamlessly integrate sensory elements such as aromatic herbs, colourful flowers, and tactile foliage into the overall design, creating harmonious spaces that inspire and rejuvenate.

Implementation Support

Our team provides comprehensive support throughout the implementation process, from plant selection to installation. Whether you require assistance with planting arrangements, landscape features, or maintenance guidelines, we ensure a seamless transition from concept to reality.

By leveraging our expertise in garden design and plant selection, NGS empowers you to create immersive sensory experiences that promote well-being and connection with nature. With our guidance, your garden becomes a vibrant sanctuary filled with the best sensory garden plants, enriching your outdoor living space and nurturing your senses. To find out more about we can help you build your dream sensory garden get in touch via our Contact Us page!

best sensory garden plants



In conclusion, integrating sensory plants into your garden not only enhances its visual appeal but also creates an immersive outdoor experience that engages all the senses and fosters well-being. Whether you aspire to unwind in a tranquil retreat, invigorate your spirit with stimulating scents, or ignite your creativity amidst vibrant colours, there exists a diverse array of sensory garden plants perfectly suited to your desires and needs.

By carefully selecting the best sensory garden plants, you can curate a garden that caters to your specific preferences and objectives. From aromatic herbs like lavender and rosemary to visually captivating sunflowers and Japanese maples, each plant contributes its unique sensory qualities to elevate your outdoor space.

Embracing the diversity and beauty of sensory plants enables you to craft a truly magical garden that transcends the boundaries of sight and touch, inviting you to immerse yourself in a symphony of scents, textures, colours, and flavours. Whether you’re enjoying a stroll, hosting gatherings with loved ones, or simply spending quiet moments of reflection, your sensory garden becomes a sanctuary that nourishes the soul and rejuvenates the spirit.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *