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Design a garden for all of your senses


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With the proper planning and plants you can have a garden that appeals to all of your senses.

Gardens add visual appeal to a yard, but gardens also can appeal to individuals' senses of smell, taste, touch and sound. Gardeners who want to create gardens that appeal to various senses can do so in the following ways.


Aesthetic appeal is one of the most sought-after benefits of gardening. However, many homeowners put in so much effort planting for one particular season that they may not give thought to ensuring the garden looks vibrant no matter the time of year.

Gardeners can research planting zones to find plants that will blossom at different times of the year so they can enjoy impressive, aesthetically appealing gardens year-round. Spring bulbs can bloom early on, while annual and perennial summer favorites will thrive under the summer sun. Beautyberry and caryopteris will fill out in the autumn, while holly or mahonia can look lovely in the winter.

Christine Hinricksen, who runs the garden and supply section at the Marysville Co-Op, said that you should have a variety of plants, with some deciduous and some evergreen options.

"Try to select plants that are going to have a variety of textures and colors," she said. It also important to "put the right plant in the right place."


Gardeners can dot their landscapes with aromatic trees, shrubs and flowers that will make stepping out into the garden that much more special.

"There's so many plants that smell good," said Hinricksen. She suggested plants like lilacs, pieris, witch hazel and roses, which add pleasant smells to the garden.

"There are lots of annuals that can add fragrance in the summer," as well, she said.


The lively sounds of the garden are created by the wildlife that come to pollinate and enjoy the environment gardeners have created. By choosing indigenous plants, gardeners can be sure that insects and small critters will seek refuge within the foliage.

Songbirds also will add character to a yard. The Audubon Society suggests including a water source and a songbird border of shrubs along your property's edge. Provide food sources and make sure they are located a fair distance from the main action of the yard so as not to scare off birds. Wait for musical chickadees, goldfinches, orioles, and cardinals to arrive and enjoy the accommodations.


Gardeners can expand their gardens to include fruit-bearing trees and rows of vegetables. Produce can be harvested from early spring through late fall depending on the crops planted.


Apart from including trees and shrubs of various textures in the garden, look for other ways to stimulate a tactile response. Water features add relaxing sound and beauty. Stones, moss, mulch, and other accents have varied textures that can stimulate the sense of touch in various ways. Don't forget to include a sitting area so that you can immerse yourself fully in the garden.

Go beyond visual appeal when designing a garden. When gardeners tap into all five senses, they can enjoy their landscapes even more than they already do.


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