Plant List: Sensory Garden

Native Perennial Bed at Brookfield Farm
Native Perennial Bed at Brookfield Farm

The CSA where my family gets our veggies and dairy, Brookfield Farm, is expanding their accessible garden.  I wanted to share the starter list of plants for a sensory garden, which I compiled to spark their creativity at their first planning meeting.  Some of these plants would also be fun in a garden for children, because they appeal to senses of touch and smell, as well as having eye-catching, bright colors. Enjoy!

Unless otherwise noted, all perennials are native to North America (many to New England), hardy to zone 5, drought tolerant, and low-maintenance.  Many of the red flowers will be butterfly-attractive.


Achillea millefoliumYarrowRed/yellow, long bloomer
Artemesia WormwoodFragrant, fuzzy leaves; *poisonous*
Ascelpias tuberosaButterfly-weedSeedpods explode into soft floss
Clematis ‘Sweet Autumn’Non-native climber, fragrant
Comptonia peregrinaSweetfernFragrant, foliage plant
Echinacea hybrids ‘Tomato Soup’, ‘Sunrise’, ‘Sundown’ConeflowerRed/yellow, fragrant, cones for texture
Meehania cordataMountain mintFragrant groundcover
Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’Bee-balmRed, fragrant
Rudbeckia nitidaBlack-eyed SusanYellow, cones for texture
Sedum telephoides/ nevii/ ternatumStonecropSucculent leaves for texture; winter structure
Solidago rugosaGoldenrodExcellent value for pollinators
Stachys byzantinaLambs’ EarThick,fuzzy leaves; deer-resistant; non-native



Amaranthus caudatusLove-lies-bleedingVelvety flower spikes
BrugmansiaAngel TrumpetFragrant; can be overwintered indoors if grown in a pot, *poisonous*
Pennesetum ‘Rubrum’Purple Fountain GrassFluffy seedheads
Tagetes’ Inca Yellow’, ‘Safari Red’MarigoldsFragrant