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Sense-sational! As National Gardening Week aproaches, there's plenty you can do to get involved - like making a sensory garden.

NATIONAL Gardening Week was launched four years ago by the Royal Horticultural Society and has grown into the country's biggest celebration of gardening.

ousands get involved and you and your family can be part of this special week - April 13 to 19 - as we A spring into action outdoors.

ere are a few things you can start thinking about if you'd like to get involved.

Events and activities are being run up and down the country, from beginner's workshops to guided walks, face painting to garden parties. You could throw your own garden party or tidy up your street.

Register your events online SPREAD THE WORD DON'T forget to show your support of National Gardening Week by sharing your stories and pictures with NGW on Facebook, Twitter, T Pinterest and Instagram.

ere are so many ways to get involved but a lasting and living way of celebrating your great outdoors is by creating a sensory garden.

It's not only beautiful to look at, but it tantalises the senses too!

As an adult, you can talk to your child or children about the plants, their colours, how they smell and taste - but be careful to choose safe, edible plants for tasting!

SIGHT FLOWERS have bright, bold colours to attract birds and insects for pollination and seed dispersal. ey are also wonderful for humans to look at too.

Choose bold-leaved and architectural plants, perhaps mulched with dierent coloured items such as slate, pebbles or shells.

What to plant | Sunowers, Helianthus annuus: A bright, boldbright, bold ower that can grow 30cm (11in) in a week, in ideal conditions.

Love-in-a-mist, Nigella |damascena: Sun-loving, bright blue owers.

SOUND SIT in your garden and listen to all the sounds of nature around you.

Go for grasses here, unless a water feature or wind chimes can be incorporated.

What to plant ? Greater quaking grass, Briza maxima: A grass that rustles in the wind with nodding, lantern-like heads of owers.

Miscanthus oligostachyus, 'Nanus Variegatus': Pretty bamboo-like foliage, which creates a rustling noise.

SMELL THE aromas given o by owers are wonderful to enjoy, but the smells have a purpose too; plant scents attract insects to the owers for pollination and some smelly leaves deter insects from eating them.

What to plant ? Curry plant, Helichrysum italicum: Currysmelling leaves which give o a spicy aroma on a warm, sunny day.

Chocolate cosmos, Cosmos | atrosanguineus: Beautiful, maroon owers with a chocolate/ vanilla scent - a big hit with kids!

TA T STE W | |What to plant ? Chives, Allium schoenoprasum: In addition to delicious foliage that can be used in salads, this plant produces pretty pink, mauve or purpleowers.

Sweet basil, Ocimum basilicum: |e Italians wouldn't consider cooking without this delicious, fresh-tasting herb.

TOUCH LEAVES vary between plants, from rough to smooth, furry to spiky. Every texture has a purpose. ese two plants are interesting to touch.

What to plant ? Lamb's ears, Stachys byzantia: As its common name suggests, its downy leaves resemble the ears of a lamb.

Silver sage, Salvia argentea: |Large, silvery - white leaves covered in cotton-wool like down.

| ere are many more plants suitable for a sensory garden but this should be a good springboard to get you started.

FACTFILE ACCORDING | to the Guinness Book of Records, the tallest ever sunflower grew to 7.76m high (25.5ft).

BUTTERFLIES | taste with their feet.

PHYTOPLANKTON | are tiny plants that can't be seen with the naked eye. Amazingly they produce half the world's oxygen.

IT TA TT KES | at least five years for a bluebell seed to grow into a bulb.

THE | Sundew is a plant that feeds on insects. In one summer a Sundew plant can catch as many as 2,000 insects.

POLLEN | from trees such as hazel and willow is full of protein.


Chillies are a bright and colourful |addition to a sensory garden
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2015
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