How To Create A Sensory Garden

A sensory garden is designed to stimulate the five senses and is a wonderful addition to any garden.

Whether it is to educate and excite your little ones or to soften the edge of an existing patio, you have come to the right place. 

Sensory gardens can be whatever you want them to be but the overall aim is to create a safe space where you can encourage garden guests and children to taste, touch, smell, listen and most of all admire.

They can be an educational place of wonder and can be adapted to a wide variety of users with an array of colour. 

Create a buzz 

Make your garden more bug, bee and butterfly friendly. Nectar is the main source of food for bees and butterflies, so you will need to plant plenty of single-stemmed or tubular flowers (preferably in blocks) to create a beautiful buzz. 

Avoid nasties

You should try to avoid chemicals of any kind in your garden and if you do, make sure they are locked away safe up high and out of the reach of children. There are many organic alternative pesticides on the market, just ask at your local garden centre.

What should I plant?

When thinking about smells, plants to consider are mint, lavender, honeysuckle and chamomile. Other edible plants and herbs that are perfect for a sensory garden include basil, sage, rosemary and thyme.

Boy walking in a puddle
Sensory garden can be an educational place of wonder and can be adapted to a wide variety of users with an array of colour.

A vegetable and fruit garden can be very time consuming and depends entirely on space and budget but strawberries, tomatoes, apples, peas, pumpkin and carrots are easy to grow.

Thankfully, kids of all ages love getting their hands dirty by mucking in and helping with garden maintenance so it shouldn't be too much work.

Every plant has a different feeling, so utilizing the sense of touch can be achieved in a number of ways. Lamb's ear, feather grass, geraniums and curly leaf parsley are perfect picks to plant.

Lamb's ear, in particular, is a favourite for kids with its soft, fuzzy leaves. As well as this, it is drought-tolerant, making it a suitable plant in a rock bed or dry spot in the garden.

For some children, there is no better feeling than warm sand on bare feet so maybe consider a small sandbox of some kind as well as trees and stone materials such as brick and pavings for touching with both feet and hands. Other things to consider when it comes to creating a sensory haven in your garden include pebbles and stones in various shapes, colours and sizes. 

To finish off your sensory garden you could add a homemade bird feeder, wind chimes, a bug hotel and small but simple water fountains or features for added effect.

Not only will they make beautiful additions, they will excite all senses while also providing limitless opportunities to relax and unwind in a safe place full of diversity and texture in your garden.


Kellie Kearney

Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of five kids aged newborn right up to nine. She loves coffee, cloth nappies, travel and sharing her every day true to life family moments on Instagram.

Read more by Kellie
{{ post.excerpt }}
{{ post.content.formatted }}

What is Family Friendly HQ?

Family Friendly HQ is Ireland’s trusted parenting community, dedicated to mums and dads, and families of all shapes and sizes.

Read more about us