The sensory experience... with Gardening is Good For You! #GIGFY

Company: HTA
  • Angelica (Adam Pasco Media)

Whether it’s their exciting colours, evocative scents, delicious flavours, tactile appeal or just their calming rustling and movement, we benefit in many ways from having plants in our lives.

Immerse customers in a sensory experience in August by filling your garden business with plants that excite the senses with support from the ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign, supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers.

Colour plays a big part in garden design. Bold and bright colours like yellow, orange and red are vibrant and uplifting, perfect for family gardens designed for play and entertaining. In contrast, cool colours like blue, mauve, violet and green are more calming, and good to use around areas designed for rest and relaxation.

Sound is so important in a sensory garden too. Perhaps it’s wind gently rocking and rustling the branches of trees, a robin perched high-up entertaining us with its song, bees busily harvesting pollen and nectar from beautiful blooms, or the calming sound of trickling water.

A multi-sensory garden evokes a direct physiological response, both consciously and unconsciously, affecting our mood, relieving stress, evoking memories, relieving boredom, stimulating conversation, and tapping into the healing power of nature.

PLANTS OF THE MOMENT:  PLANTS TO EXCITE THE SENSES

Virtually every plant will stimulate one sense or another, so this month we’re celebrating plants for all their diverse sensory appeal.

Here are some sensory plant display ideas:

Colourful plants:

Highlight plants for both seasonal colour impact and year-round value. Consider colour theming plant displays, and recommending planting partners.

Tactile plants:

Plants with soft, hairy or textured leaves, stems or bark such as ornamental grasses, mahonia ‘Soft caress’, santolina (Cotton lavender*), phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem sage), stachys byzantina (Lamb’s ear), itea illicifolia.

Scented plants:

Plants with fragrant flowers and foliage like lavender*, scented leaf pelargoniums, nepeta ‘Walker’s low’ (catnip), artemisa ‘Powis castle’ (wormwood)

Swaying and rustling plants:

Tall, graceful ornamental grasses like miscanthus, stipa, pennisetum, cortaderia (pampas grass) and bamboo.

Tasty plants:

Culinary herbs like sage, thyme, chives, parsley, basil and ornamental angelica, plus fruits from trees and bushes, soft fruits like strawberries, and vegetable crops and delicious fresh salad leaves straight from the garden!

For further information go to www.hta.org.uk/gardeningisgoodforyou or contact media.office@hta.org.uk

*Lavandula species are listed by Defra as Xylella Host Plants of concern to the UK. For further information please visit the Plant Health Portal and read the latest High Risk Host list. Suspected cases of Xylella fastidiosa or any other non-native plant pest must be reported to the relevant authority. All Xylella host plants should be sourced responsibly.

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