When designing a new garden – or adding to your existing outside space – consider sounds, sights and textures that will delight the senses and soothe the soul.

Whether you have a small balcony or back yard, or a large garden with lawns and flower beds, there’s plenty you can do to create a wonderful sensory experience.

Sound: Create contrasting sounds as you move around the garden – gravel paths that crunch underfoot, tall grasses that rustle in the breeze, melodic garden chimes, trickling water in a pond or fountain, and a bird bath and feeder to keep your visiting birds happy and singing!

Scent: Stimulate your sense of smell with a range of aromatic plants, from beautifully fragrant roses, honeysuckle, lavender and mock orange to herbs like mint and rosemary. To make the most of these scented additions, plant near a path or doorway, train honeysuckle and roses over an arch with a seat beneath, and plant herbs in patio or window pots. Some of the best scents come in winter, with winter flowering jasmine and the shrub daphne ‘Jacqueline Postill’.


Sight: Choose flowers and plants in different heights, shapes, sizes and colours. Colourful flowers are not only joyful to look at, but native wildflowers like common poppies, corn marigold, or ox-eye daisies will also attract bees and butterflies. Plant flowers in swathes of colours through borders or set aside a section of the garden for a wildflower meadow. If you have a balcony or small patio, you can still get plenty of colour and height in containers. Hot colours like red and orange are stimulating, while soft shades of pink, green and blue are calming. Ornamental grasses add movement and structure, and choose shrubs whose leaves have striking natural designs.

Texture: From soft lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina) and feathery grasses to water features and natural stone walls, there are many ways you can incorporate different textures into your outside space.