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Sensory Garden

Plants to stimulate your senses and calm your mind.

Words by Sarah Burrows

Before Nick and I got married, we had saved for a trip abroad and were fortunate to spend our honeymoon in the south of France. It one of the most stimulating places I’d ever been – and almost surprisingly so, because it was also one of the quietest. I still salivate thinking about the food, specifically a simple combo of preserved lemons, caper berries and fresh heirloom tomatoes. (I now have preserved lemons in my fridge at all times.) We toured the asylum where Vincent Van Gogh lived and saw landscapes he’d painted over 125 years ago that have remained mostly untouched. It was like seeing magic. But, what I remember most was the aroma of the lavender fields and how the air carried its scent everywhere. It turns out lavender has a stronger link to memory and emotion than any other sense. We keep lavender in our bedroom, growing happily in a Growframe that doubles as a sunlight-mimicking “alarm clock”, as we’ve set it to fade on as the sun is rising each morning. Everything is better when I start the day in a good headspace, with the promise of retreating to a calming environment in the evening. Plants do more for our mood than you might realize! To help you create a space to pause, and let your senses fully engage, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite herbaceous plants, inspired by our trip of a lifetime.

– Sarah, Co-owner, Modern Sprout

Plants are powerful – connecting with nature reduces stress, anxiety, and possibly even mild pain.

A quick word on lighting: The plants listed below (especially the ones with blooms) prefer direct sunlight. Unobstructed south and west facing windows will support them best. These plants pair great with our Growframes and Growhouse. Both feature a 27W full-spectrum, natural white grow light that supports healthy vegetative growth and blooms. They include a sleek timer that can be programed for either 8, 12, or 16 hours on daily. We recommend 12 hours of light at full brightness for all varietals listed below.

Lavender: Known for it’s soothing scent, lavender has sedative powers when inhaled, changing brain wave patterns and making it ideal for the bedroom. Pair it with bright, direct sunlight. Harvest and create your own scented satchels, simple syrups, soaps and more! Check out our Unwind Gift Set to take advantage of Lavender’s many benefits.

Rosemary: This hardy Mediterranean herb is relatively low maintenance. Just make sure your rosemary has proper lighting and keep the soil slightly damp = not too much water, not too little. It’s highly aromatic and stimulates brain activity, while decreasing stress levels. A perfect kitchen companion! To harvest, snip rosemary at the base with our needle-nosed pruning shears to infuse into beverages, pair with poultry and simmer in stews.

Arabian Jasmine: Though the flowers are small, the scent of a blooming Arabian Jasmine can fill an entire room. This light-loving plant will vine and climb as it grows, producing blooms throughout the year.

Chamomile: Used for over 5,000 years for it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, chamomile is known to promote tranquility, vitality and longevity. Chamomile’s light scent and bountiful blooms make it a great addition to your plant assortment. Grow, steep and sip it with our Ritual Gift Set.