Addressing Landscaping Through Your Five Senses

Written by David S.

Addressing landscaping through your five senses is a way to enjoy a complete body and mind experience at home. This blog talks about how smell, sight, sound, touch, and taste improve with quality landscaping. We are talking about food production, aromatics, sun vs. shade, buzzing bees and singing birds, creating beauty with plants, and hiding eyesores.

For example, If you have an outdoor living spot where you sit, this blog will give you some details about how to enjoy that spot with all of your five senses rather than only with your vision.

Sight — The visual experience 

Most of us have a handle on creating beautiful vistas that delight our visual senses. Maybe it’s bright-colored flowers, interesting textures, or the visual drama created by a garden arch full of roses. The goal here is to create beauty that we take in with our eyes. The most effective tools for visually stimulating landscaping are colors, textures, and depth; both color and texture help to create depth.

Another way to think of color is shade and light, as, in a small row of sun-loving low growing, brightly colored flowers along a shady path will pop forward. A taller grouping of brightly colored plants in a darker corner will stand out from the shadow. When we talk about color, we also mean the color difference in foliage. That tool can make an excellent mosaic effect, especially when placed far enough back in the line of sight for it to appear as a single entity rather than a grouping of plants. 

Please stop by any of our Green Thumb Nursery locations and browse the broad palate of greens in shrubs and other foliage. Those are the colors we talk about when we suggest a mosaic landscape. But, of course, you often see this in mixed woodlands — those superb greens that change to brilliant shades of autumn in the fall. 

Sound — The Songs of Nature 

Sit outside and close your eyes. Make notes of what you hear. Maybe it’s birds, insects, or traffic. You can quietly make a list of the sound you hear that you like and those you dislike. If you love the sounds of birds, then consider planting trees, shrubs, and flowers that attract birds. Many folk love hummingbirds, and there is a long list of flowers and plants that hummingbirds love. Maybe you love the squabbling blue jays or the song of the blackbirds. You can bring those birds to your yard with bird feeders. You have some control over who comes and who doesn’t, with the choices of foods you offer. 

What happens if you hear traffic, and you want to remove it from your auditory enjoyment. You can use plants to soften the sounds of traffic. For example, short trees and tall shrubs along a fence can help block traffic. Add items such as wind chimes or a water feature to mask the sound of traffic. Water features an excellent to create white noise. 

Green Thumb Nursery offers a wide selection of water features from large fountains to small pond-less fountains and many other options, all in kit form. If you are more of the DIY type, we offer a wide selection of parts and basics so that you can build your own. We also stock fantastic bird feeders and other garden gadgets that create cheerful sounds. 

Touch — The physical Aspect of Landscape

There are a few ways to interpret touch. Maybe it is the feeling of green grass on bare feet or the coolness created by shade. There are some ways to enhance the feeling of touch as you enjoy your yard. One of the most luxurious experiences can be relatively simple. A small pond with a comfortable bench in which you dangle your feet on a hot day. Sit and relax, read your book, and let the cool water bring you a spa-like experience. 

You may also enjoy the softness of moss or clover as a walkway or a plush lawn on which children can play. Unfortunately, many of us do not consider the sense of touch when we design landscapes. The options range from those we’ve described to the textures of leaves and foliage. We invite you to stop by and explore the small pond kits, soft shrubs, and exotic trees that can enhance the sense of touch. 

Smell — Aromatic Poetry

Adding positive aromas to your landscape is not difficult. Anyone who has walked by flowering herbs in summer can attest to the lovely power they bring. It is along those lines that we address the sense of smell in our yards. Aromatic flowers and greenery are a fantastic way to lighten a bad day or bring gentle restfulness in the evening. Lavender, jasmine, eucalyptus, and other plants all have medicinal properties that are delightful to our senses. 

Planting lavender outside a bedroom window is a lovely way to bring the benefits of the herb into your home gently. Lavender is known to help people sleep. Jasmine is another lovely plant that helps improve sleep. There are so many aromatic plants available that you have a virtual kaleidoscope of fragrances that can dot your yard. Peppermint, lavender, and chamomile in a bed by your gate or front door create a mixture that is welcoming. Chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, and Clary sage mixed in a pot or garden bed creates a calming aromatic. The idea here is to mix and blend aromatic plants to produce the desired effect. The list of those plants is long, and with a bit of research, you can discover a new and wholesome way to smell your landscape. 

Taste — A delightful way to live. 

Mint, sage, parsley, and other herbs add delightful tastes to meals. Most culinary herbs are beautiful when grown; they add a wonderful mix of attributes to foods. By food, we also mean drinks, such as teas, shrubs, and lemonades. Mint is an easy choice, but there are many options for adding herbs and edible flowers to your food. 

A shrub is an old-world way of making a soda-like beverage. You mix fruit juice and vinegar, and other ingredients to create a tasty beverage. Check out shrubs here

Speaking of fruit, Green Thumb Nursery carries a large selection of fruit trees at all of our five locations throughout Southern California. 

We have touched on all five of our senses and will leave you to explore the sixth sense. You can stop by any of our nurseries and explore the options for creating landscaping that touches a single sense or all of them. Our plant experts are available to help you build the perfect sensory landscaping experience. You go big or start small. The complex nature of sensory landscaping often has fantastic results when you pick a smaller area and develop it thoroughly. 

An excellent tip to get started is to make a list of things you want to change or improve in your yard. Then, add to that list options that touch all of your senses. The process does not need to be overly expensive. You can start plants from seeds. Another good source for tips and landscaping ideas is our library of blogs. Check those out too. 

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