Five Senses Garden, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Five Senses Garden, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

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A beautiful garden in Pennsylvania.

Perhaps one of the last places you would expect to find a beautiful public garden would be in an industrial zone, near a prison and a mile from a large shopping centre. But that's exactly where the Five Senses Garden in south-central Pennsylvania is located. It is truly an oasis of peace and beauty in an otherwise soulless, urban desert.

It is so hidden away that most locals don't know about it. However, for those in the know, it is an almost Zen-like place of retreat.

Winding, twisting paths connect the five small gardens together. Each of the small gardens is devoted to a particular human sense - sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. Small benches in the midst of each garden allow visitors to indulge themselves - one sense at a time.

  • The Sight Garden features a variety of plants that are visually impressive in size and coloration.

  • The Touch Garden encourages visitors to feel the textures of the velvety lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina) or the prickly bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare).

  • The Sound Garden is where you can hear the nearby creek flowing over rocks and the wind in the tall ornamental grasses.

  • The Smell Garden features such aromatic plants as lavender and honeysuckle, encouraging visitors to breathe deeply.

  • The Taste Garden is filled with herbs and wild fruits.

Private donors sponsor each garden with the exception of the smell and taste gardens and volunteers maintain all five gardens.

Located along state route 441, the garden connects with the Capital Area Greenbelt - a 20-mile path connecting all of the parks in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Parking is available on the opposite side of the road. The garden is open to the public during daylight hours and admission is free.

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