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Sensory Garden
July 22, 2023

Sensory Gardening For The Elderley

The Joys Of Sensory Gardening

A sensory garden is one that is created to tantalise your sight, smell, touch and taste. It benefits both young and old, and can be especially pleasing for those who have sensory difficulties. Luckily for us, here in Oxfordshire, we are never far from a beautiful garden. For those with failing eyesight, or reduced mobility, rediscovering the strength of the other senses in a garden full of scents, sounds and textures can be invaluable for your well-being.

Gardening For The Elderly

Prioritising activity and health to maintain our mental and physical strength becomes more important as we age. Although there are plenty of beautiful sites of interest to visit in Oxfordshire, creating and managing a sensory garden for personal or communal use can be the perfect low impact activity requiring minimal travel. You can enjoy gardening alone, or in groups and the variety of plants, seasons and garden accessories will keep even the most reluctant gardener engaged.

The Five Senses

A sensory garden needs to cater to the five senses of taste, touch, smell, sight and sound; here are some ideas.


Planting an array of herbs and edible flowers will stimulate the taste and smell senses. Plant mint and basil next to fruits and vegetables. Edible flowers include evening primrose or hibiscus.


Plant flowers that have a variety of textures such as lamb’s ear which feels woolly or yarrow which has stiff flowers but soft foliage. Use smooth pebbles for bordering flower beds, or bark chips on the path.


Small water features can be especially pleasing for texture as well as sound, with the gentle trickle of running water from a fountain proving especially soothing. If you like wind-chimes, a small one can provide a subtle splash of light and sound from a dark corner.


Planting vividly coloured flowers contrasted with pale colours can be great for sight, as can planting richly coloured fruit plants which will look beautiful once the fruits are ripe. Why not try light-reflecting accessories such as mirrored glass or brightly coloured ornaments as feature pieces, too?


Plant lavender, roses or jasmine for a wonderfully perfumed garden. Herbs such as rosemary and dill also add delicious smells to the garden.

Local Wildlife

Don’t rule out planting flowers and shrubs that attract and support the local Oxfordshire wildlife too. Consider butterfly-friendly buddleias, honeysuckle for dormice or sunny ox-eye daisies for hedgehogs. Their sudden appearance in your sensory garden can delight and provide a pleasant surprise as you sip your morning cup of tea and you won’t be the only one enjoying your sensory garden.

Create Yours Today

Why not try with a mini-plot of soil in the garden or a few potted plants in the kitchen? Find out if other like-minded gardeners in Oxfordshire who would be interested in creating a community sensory garden for you and your friends, and who knows what you could create!

There are many different ways you can create a sensory garden, and with live-in care, you won’t be alone in creating the perfect sensory garden for you. The best way to know for sure whether a sensory garden is for you is just to get started. To find out how are services could assist you with your garden and daily life please follow the below link.