The Brenham Elementary Sensory Garden is a part of the new Outdoor Learning Center of the Brenham Independent School District. It is was designed and implemented by the Herb Society of America, Pioneer Unit, along with many other volunteers and supporters, for educating children from pre-Kindergarten through 4th grade.
The main garden is divided into beds that relate plants to the five senses. The central “spectrum” bed is a color wheel that is planted with annual flowering plants and represents the sense of sight. Four surrounding raised beds contain various plants that represent the senses of smell, touch, taste, and hearing.
There is an “Alphabet Walk” used by the kindergarten and first grade to reinforce their knowledge of the alphabet. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by herbs, shrubs, and small trees. “A is for apple” to “Z is for zebra grass”.
In addition there is the “Caterpillar Cave”, which is a tunnel made of cattle panels and planted with passionflower and Dutchman’s pipe vines and surrounded by a myriad of herbs such as dill, fennel, parsley, and chervil – all plants that caterpillars love to munch. The second graders plant the various herbs in the fall and in the spring monitor them for caterpillar activity. It is a learning tool for visually teaching the life cycle of the butterfly and the hungry, hungry caterpillars from which they come.
The last installation was the zoo bed. It is raised beds that contain plants that have animal names, such as “shrimp plant” and “lion’s tail.”
Volunteer activities include routine maintenance of the garden, working with teachers to educate the children about the plants, and to introduce the children and adults alike about the use and delight of herbs.
Location: 1000 W Blue Bell Rd Brenham, TX 77833