Loud Plants

Seedhead of love-in-a-mistQuestion: I’m trying to make a “garden for the senses.” Plants for sight, taste, texture and fragrance are pretty apparent but can you help me with plants for the sense of hearing?

Answer: Choose plants that are easily jostled by the breeze. These include ornamental grasses and weeping trees, which make a rustling noise as they sway. Some seed pods also rattle in the wind or when shaken manually; try love-in-the-mist (Nigella damascena), an annual that’s quick to grow from seed. (Its seed head is pictured here.)

You might plant some of these plants closer than normal to a pathway or the edge of a sitting area, so that as people walk by, they brush the leaves or stems and cause noise.

Also look to non-plant features for audible input to your sensory garden. A fountain or other water feature adds the sound of trickling water. Crunchy paving, such as pea gravel, makes noise as you walk across it. Don’t be quick to gather up fallen leaves—they add a crunching sound to your footsteps. Hang wind chimes throughout the garden. Set up a bird feeder, or plant berrying shrubs and trees to attract birds that will contribute sound with their movements and song.

Image attribution

Related Posts:

5 thoughts on “Loud Plants

  1. I’ve had sedums and Black Eyed Susan vines that POP pretty loudly when they disperse seed. If you’re close to the plant, you can literally be hit by flying seeds that have popped from a seed pod.

  2. Bottle neck gourds: When dried they are rattles
    Baptisa: False Indigo: Seed heads remain on for a long time, are attractive and make a rattling noise.
    Purple Fountain grass is a nice rustling sound
    Snapdragon: Can you hear what they are saying to us?
    Sunflowers: leaves are coarse and make a rough rustling sound.
    Also, there are quite a few cultivars that have a musical/sound names that could be played on.
    Cleveland Botanical Gardens has an incredible music garden – using instruments for a gorgeous fountain, and old snare drums as planters!

  3. amur maple (ginnala) seed pods (samaras) rustle in the wind in winter time-it sounds like they are whispering to you as you pass. the tree holds it’s pods till about time to start mowing again in spring when they fall all at once and you chop them up so that not everyone actually germinates and grows (tho i wouldn’t mind if a lot of them DID grow).. wonderful 4 season small tree-one of the few 4 season anything i know of.

  4. Quaking Aspen has a great rustling noise and I was in a Japanese garden where they had large bamboo that knocked together and made a hollow clacking noise. and of course, wind chimes and the sound of bubbling water from a fountain… enjoy

Leave a Reply