Imagining your child side by side with you, knee deep in dirt, sowing the future is a tempting daydream for any gardener. But with competition from technology and other distractions, encouraging this behaviour can seem like a challenging task. So, how can you promote the assistance of your progeny in your garden adventures? Every child is different so customize to their interests, is it the scientific angle? The edible angle? The creative outlet? Gardening has so much to offer and inspire! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

For the Scientific Child

What could be more interesting than watching something evolve through the process of germination into a seedling, a plant, a tree?  Easy flowers to grow from seed include sunflower, marigolds and poppies and big seeds from trees such as oak or sycamore. Add an element of competition by starting the seeds with different methods and using a different fertilizer for each. Or get really technical and try some trees that require cross pollination! Which method yields the best results? Track the success of plants using photographs and journaling. Ask the child to make a guess  at which seedling will produce the best plant or fruit and compare your notes over time. Not only is this an interesting process but may lead to some new gardening techniques for you!

For the Food Inspired Child

Do you already have a permanent helper in the kitchen? Carry that love into the garden with some easy to grow edibles. Best to stick to fruits and veggies that are kid friendly and quick in results. Strawberries and Blueberries are fast and delicious, with many plants available for sale already close to producing fruit. Or plant a small citrus tree, heaven knows that lemon meringue pie is a winner on every table.  Easy to grow veggies include; beans, cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes (which aren’t veggies but we’ll lump them together). Once you begin to harvest, research recipes with your child and make some new signature dishes using their home grown veggies. Then watch the compliments roll in, it’s hard to beat the taste of organic.

The Creative Child

Garden beds have long been the inspiration of poets and artists around the world. Work with your child to create zones of colour, focusing on their favourites. Choose plants of varying heights to create depth and add visual interest. Take time to draw or photograph the flower beds at their varying stages and create a collage of the result. Search together for unique garden accents, using colourful stones or found treasures. There is no limit to the creativity that can be expressed through gardening. Heck that’s why we all love it so much!

Do you have some great photos of your child inspired or infused gardens? Share them with us. We’d love to see them

Here are some great resources for working your child into your garden plan.

Resources

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