senior garden - Knowledgebase Question

Wakefield, Rh
Question by srsplante
June 22, 2010
what plants would you recommend for a garden that surrounds 2 sides of a patio for a senior? Garden is 4'X26' and gets 8 to 12 hrs. of sun.

Answer from NGA
June 22, 2010


I'd plant a sensory garden filled with a variety of plants to see, to smell, and to touch. Some to consider include:
Curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) curry-scented leaves give off a spicy aroma on a warm, sunny day.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote'); the classic scent of an summer garden. Cut and dry the flowers for use indoors.
Chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus); beautiful deep red flowers that give off a chocolate/vanilla scent - bound to be a hit with the children.
Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus); pretty flowering climber that gives off a strong sweet scent. Cut the flowers regularly to encourage more growth.
Heuchera 'Chocolate Ruffles'; purple leaves with chocolate-coloured undersides and pretty, pale pink flowers.

To touch, try: Lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina); it's easy to see how this plant got its common name when you touch the silky foliage.
Silver sage (Salvia argentea); a cotton wool-like down covers its large, silvery-white leaves.
Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa); soft, downy leaves and stems with pretty yellow flowers.
Houseleek (Sempervivum 'Commander Hay'); a rosette-forming succulent that produces flowers on long stems. Leaves are rigid to the touch.

To hear: Greater quaking grass, Briza maxima; an annual grass whose nodding flowers rustle in the wind.
Love-in-a-mist, Nigella damascena; bright blue flowers which form puffy seed-heads that rattle when shaken.
Miscanthus oligostachyus 'Nanus Variegatus'; pretty bamboo-like foliage, striped yellow and cream, that creates a rustling noise.
Clumping Bamboo, Phyllostachys; pretty foliage that whispers in the wind while its stems knock together, creating a hollow sound.

And, for bright flowers, try Mexican Sunflowers, Helianthus annuus; in bright, bold colors of yellow, orange or mahogany.
Calendula; bright orange daisies that are easy to grow from seed.
Chameleon plant, Houttuynia cordata; amazing three-toned foliage that smells of lemon.
Swiss chard 'Bright Lights'; the brightly-coloured stems and foliage of this unusual vegetable are as tasty as they are beautiful.
Heuchera 'Chocolate Ruffles'; purple leaves with chocolate-coloured undersides and pretty, pale pink flowers.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.

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