Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Tactile Garden

Lots of gardeners garden for Sight.  Pretty flowers, pleasing color combinations, visually interesting foliage. 

Some garden for Taste.  Home grown tomatoes anyone?  Fresh herbs for the kitchen?

There are even gardeners who focus on Scent (can you focus your sense of smell?  I can't. It's always a bit blurry to me).

And there are the ubiquitous sellers of fountains trying to convince us to add Sound to the garden.  I haven't seen the appeal.  A fountain in the garden means more trips to the bathroom and my bathroom isn't in my garden.

What about the neglected sense - Touch.  An Historian was over yesterday and had her hands all over my plants.  She wants...

Stachys byzantina nana (Lamb's Ear.  Can spread aggressively so I have mine in the Hell Strip)
Artemesia schmidtiana silver mound (Wormwood.  I didn't know that's what wormwood was!  Does anyone actually call it wormwood?)

Nassella tenuissima (Mexican feather grass - a nasty invasive in some parts of the country.  Not here.  It's not warm enough here.  I have mine in a warm microclimate or it wouldn't survive the winters)

Of course I also have plants that please multiple senses.  It may be hard to tell right now but this area contains several Russian Sage.  Sight, Touch, and Smell.  Scrumptious.

Look at this row of lavender (Lavandula angustifolias, or English lavender) (that's a Hyssop in front - not sure if it's a Hyssopus or an Agestache).  Sight, check.  If you Touch it your hands will Smell, check.  Listen to the bees buzz about as the pollinate - Sound, check.  And, yes, lavender is edible so you can Taste it.  That's a big five senses all stimulated by this one humble plant.

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