Home and garden improvements | Sensory gardens


Tips on how to improve the looks of a sensory garden.

By Chloe French · Published: February 26, 2021

sunflower in a field

When we think of gardens we like, our first thought is often how they look. An outdoor space that looks beautiful can benefit the whole family, helping to lift mood and relax.

We have listed some tips for creating a garden that looks incredible. Much of how you want a garden to look is down to personal taste. A little bit of extra research might be required for beginner gardeners to help you choose the plants that will be suitable for your garden. The links provided are a great starting point.

  • Flowering plants can bring lots of bright colours into your garden – look for hardy, low maintenance perennials. Have a think about what colours you would like and what might best grow in your garden. Gardeners World have a good guide to perennials with much of this information on their website here >>
  • If you only have a small space, consider something that makes a statement like sunflowers, which are fun and easy to grow. They grow from seeds that you can plant in soil in sunny areas. You can buy the seeds and multi-purpose compost that you will need online from garden centres. The RHS have a guide with all the information you’ll need to grow sunflowers – click here to visit their website >>
  • Don’t forget the leaves – there are lots of different colours, shapes and patterns to choose from. Having some nice foliage planted among flowers helps to bulk out the garden and add interesting new colours and textures. Shrubs like Weigela or Heather can give some nice variety to your garden.
pink and purple flowers
  • Attract wildlife – flowers, a couple of bird feeders and a bird bath are all simple ways of attracting birds, bees, and butterflies into your garden. Making things like fat balls for birds or a bug hotel for insects can also be a great activity for children. The RSPB have a guide for making a “bird cake” for attracting birds to your garden – click here to visit their website >>
  • Solar lights – there are some cost-effective, good quality solar lights which can help you to enjoy your garden at night too.
  • Shade sails – these require a bit of work to put up but can be a relatively cheap, colourful way to provide some shade and privacy. Shade sails are available online from lots of shops, and this shop has a good guide about how to put them up >>


Helping Hands top tip

When you are choosing plants, look for a variety which will provide year-round colour and interest, for example spring bulbs, summer meadow flowers, autumn leaves, and evergreens with berries.

Spring bulbs
Summer meadow flowers
Autumn leaves
Evergreens with berries

by Lorna Pederson, Head of Helping Hands, and Callum Campbell, Family Information Officer

[email protected] 

First published 26 February 2021

Last reviewed 11 April 2022

Next review due April 2023