A Winter Sensory Garden

Posted by & filed under Shrubs, Trees.

I left the Sensory Garden in front of the Education wing the other day and found another garden that is just as appealing to the senses – especially in the winter.  I’ve heard the gardeners call this place the “Transition Garden.”  I guess it’s because it is the transition area between the back of the Visitor Center and the boat basin.  Most people just dash up and down the steps, but this garden is along the ramp that allows wheelchairs and strollers to change levels.  In the winter, this is really a feast for the senses.

Visually, there are lots of great things to see.  A couple of Yuletide Camellias at the turn of the path shine bright red and a Japanese Apricot near the entrance to the Japanese has swollen pink buds that will burst open soon.  But flowers are not the only interesting things to see.  Red Nandina berries are contrasted nicely by green foliage.  The Coral Bark Japanese Maple has lost its leaves to reveal glowing red-tinged branches. Nearby, several Japanese Kerrias boast green stems – something different during the winter.

Along the path are a variety of other shrubs and grasses to put your sense of hearing and touch on alert.  On a breezy day, like today, the wind rattles the bare stems of the White Clover Bush while the seed heads and leaves of the different Eulalia grasses rustle softly.  These grasses are also soft to the touch, in sharp contrast to the stiff leaves of the dark green Indian Hawthorn or the prickly Blue Rug Juniper.

For smell, there is not much that can beat the Fortune’s Osmanthus in the corner of the garden.  And as for taste . . . this is some of the best tasting dirt I’ve had in a long time.  If I weren’t so afraid of getting pulled, I would ask a gardener what they have done to it to make it taste so good.

This is where I am going to set down my roots for a few days, and enjoy this sensual feast.  Come on out and join me.

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