Home and garden improvements | Sensory gardens


Tips on how to plant fruit, vegetables and herbs to bring the the sensation of taste into a sensory garden.

By Chloe French · Published: February 26, 2021


Taste might not be your first though when you think of a sensory garden. However, growing plants, fruit and vegetables that you can eat can be a fun, joyful experience for children and the whole family. There is lots of information available online and in books about how to grow your own food, and we’ve included some starting points to help you below.

  • There are lots of tasty things you can grow in your own garden, even if you don’t have a lot of space. Growing fruit and vegetables can seem daunting, but once you get started the rewards are fantastic! We recommend that you start by looking at one of the many books on the topic. Books are a great resource for this because you can constantly refer back to them. We recommend:
    • RHS Step-by-Step Veg Patch by Lucy Chamberlain, for first time vegetable growers
    • RHS Grow Your Own Veg & Fruit Bible by Carol Klein, if you have a bit more experience
    • RHS Vegetables in a Small Garden and Crops in Tight Spots: Grow Amazing Fruit and Vegetables Wherever You Live by Alex Mitchell, if you have a small outdoor space.
  • Here are a few quick examples of what you could grow:
    • Tomatoes – easy to grow and fruit in the summer, perfect to add to a salad. You can sow the seeds between February and April. More advice can be found on the Gardeners World website here >>
    • Courgettes – Did you know that you can also eat the flowers? Courgettes are a versatile, healthy vegetable that grow quite easily. You can even use any extra crop in a yummy cake! Visit the RHS website for a growing guide here >>
    • Rhubarb – very easy to grow almost anywhere, and delicious in a crumble.
rhubarb growing
  • If you only have a very small space, try to grow some herbs and choose ones which you will use in the type of food you like to cook. Rosemary and thyme are great for stews and roast dinners, coriander  is good for curries and salads, whilst mint can add flavour to potatoes and peas. Herbs tend to do well in containers and the RHS has a great guide about when, where and how to plant herbs on their website here >>
  • If you have a bigger space and are feeling more ambitious why not consider a fruit tree? You can buy lots of different varieties from apricots to cherries. Fruit trees are a bit of an investment, so we would recommend that you speak to your local garden centre for advice first before buying.

Helping Hands top tip

Fruit trees are a fantastic addition to a garden and have multiple benefits beyond the fruit. Some smaller fruit trees will even grow in pots, and many will also produce beautiful blossom in the Spring and help to attract wildlife, as well as growing fruit for you.

growing vegetables in a raise bed

Callum Campbell, Family Information Officer

[email protected] 

First published 26 February 2021

Last reviewed 11 April 2022

Review due April 2023