Who has experience creating a sensory garden for their kids or students? It seems like I've heard a lot about the benefits of engaging the senses this way for development and working with kids who are differently abled, does anyone know of specific research into this? I heard about this idea while working at a Montessori school and really fell in love with it. Here are some of my thoughts around designing one:
1. Potentially consider native species first (Northeast United States, zone 6a)
2. Probably would want to make sure all plants are non-toxic in case someone tries to eat from a different category (say eating a "touch")
3. Plant ideas!
Touch- different textures, moving parts
Lamb's Ear (Stachys byzantina)
Taste- herbs, edible flowers, fruits and veggies
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
Strawberry (Fragaria ananassa)
Smell- culinary herbs, fragrant flowers
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sight- vibrant colors, interesting shapes, bird and butterfly attractors
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Swiss chard ‘Bright Lights’ (Beta vulgaris)
Sound- seedpods, water features, bee and insect attractors, rustling foliage
Money plant (Lunaria annua)- seedpods
You can see there is a lot of overlap too, especially since I'm looking to make all the plants non-toxic. Sound seems to be the hardest category to brainstorm in. The more I look into this and think about it, the more excited I get to try this out at home... I have a brand new hugel that needs populating, maybe I'll make it a sensory hugel?
What other ideas and experiences do you have? Which other plants could I put on this list?