Stimulate all your senses with a stress reducing sensory garden
Ramp up the feelgood factor
Feel good fragrant blooms in scented and sensory gardens have long been known to have a therapeutic effect on the senses.
This type of garden can help to reduce stress and anxiety by providing a place to escape to and take time out. The power of scent can affect your mood, appetite and concentration, writes Sara Milne.
When you select your garden plants for smell, make sure you choose some for the different ways they release their scent.
For fragrance that fills the air and can be smelt without touching the plant, Jasmine is a great option and its sweet aroma can help to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Jasmines are evergreen or deciduous climbers with twining stems and they can be summer or winter flowering with an abundance of white or yellow flowers.
Choosing the right spot
They need to be planted somewhere sunny and warm close to a wall or fence, and preferably near a seating area so you can enjoy the scent of the flowers.
A classic choice of plant that you will need to get a little closer to so you can smell its fragrance is a rose. Roses put on a fantastic show throughout the summer months with a wonderful flush of flowers.
English roses tend to be the most highly scented and grow well in gardens of all sizes as well as in containers. Best in sunny spots, roses have traditionally been used to calm and uplift the spirit.
Plants you need to get up close and personal with - ones you have to pinch or rub with your fingers - tend to have scented oils in their leaves that release their fragrance when touched, such as scented geraniums or lavender.
The sensory power of herbs
Essentially a herb, lavender was historically used for its healing properties and its fragrance can help the body unwind and relax, especially at night time. It’s an easy grower - in gardens and in pots - and likes the sun.
Choose the right plants
There are some plants that give off scent when crushed under foot such as chamomile. Its feathery green leaves are highly fragrant when crushed and it has a profusion of white daisy like flowers used to make chamomile tea that helps to calm and relax.
Chamomile grows best in partial shade and, like most herbs, needs very little care once it is established. If you don’t have your own garden, visit www.thrive.org.uk/get-involved/keep-in-touch/subscribe-to-gardening-club the Thrive website.