56 Sensory Plants for Raised Planter Gardens

56 Sensory Plants for Raised Planter Gardens

Thanks to Tracey Hunter for inspiring me to create a list of sensory plants for raised planters! Tracey is the Recreation Manager at Berwick on the Lake Retirement Community in Nanaimo, BC. Here's her email:

Hi Shelagh – our garden signs have arrived as have our new raised planters.  We are excited to get going and I am wondering if you might suggest some plants that would be ideal in creating a Sensory Garden? Your expertise would be much appreciated.
There are 4 medium VegTrugs™. Two will be in full sun, 2 will be slightly shaded but only because they are set near maple trees, so slightly filtered sun.

I created a list for Tracey (and for you): 56 of my favourite plants for encouraging sensory engagement, and six natural features that I recommend including in your sensory garden.

These plants are specifically suited to raised planter gardens in Southwestern British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest, and other places with a similar temperate maritime climate. I’ve excluded plants that would overwhelm raised planters with their size or their spreading growth habit.

56 sensory plants for raised planter gardens

If you print the sensory plant list to take with you when plant shopping, set your printer to landscape orientation rather than portrait.

Each sensory plant may come in several varieties, and there are many other sensory plants besides the ones on my list, so I wrote up some guidelines to help you choose sensory plant varieties when shopping at a garden centre or nursery. 

VegTrugs™ (which Tracey mentioned) are designed to enable accessible gardening while standing or sitting. The slanted sides provide room for knees and feet. And because they raise the soil up, they bring sensory plants closer to nose and fingers (so important to everyone's enjoyment!).

Of course, VegTrugs™ are not the only raised planters available, but these days, they are widely available and more affordable than before.


 May your plants delight the senses!

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