Vertical Gardening in a Sensory Garden

To save space and immerse people in the garden experience, consider growing up.


What is vertical gardening?


Vertical gardening is about using pergolas, trellises, ropes, wires, etc. to encourage growth to go vertical rather than horizontal.


There are many advantages to adding vertical growth to your sensory garden. These advantages, as they related to the senses, include the following:


  • Sight: colorful plants, such as climbing roses, can be more at face height, which will allow many to appreciate them up close more easily.

  • Smell: Aromas don’t have to be carried up by wind or heat to reach the nose. People can immerse themselves in the plants and smell fantastic aromas from all around them.

  • Hearing: By planting vertically, people will be closer to many of the sounds that would be found in a hearing garden. Hearing the leaves rustle as you walk down a covered path, for example, will provide a great experience for the senses.

  • Touch: People won’t have to reach down to touch the foliage or flowers, they will be at face height. People will be encouraged to touch to the sides and perhaps above themselves to get the totality of textures and feels.

  • Taste: Grow some climbing herbs or maybe some peas and people will be able to take a bite as they go by.

  • Proprioception: When walking through a tunnel covered in vines, there are many senses and body movements involved. Body awareness increases with the intimate connection with the surroundings quite literally around you.

  • Vestibular: Balance is something many people must practice to live fulfilling lives. The entire act of walking through a garden, which naturally is not perfectly flat, forces the body to readjust constantly, thus improving vestibular awareness. Add some simple stepping stones under a pergola or other object covered in plants and visitors will have the opportunity to work on their balance.


You can make your sensory garden vertical with just some wire, old ladders, or other unused equipment. Make sure it is not sharp and will be sturdy for a long time.


Enjoy making your sensory garden more immersive through vertical gardening.


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