Posts Tagged ‘gardening with kids’

Mary Mary …How Does Your Garden Grow?

June 3, 2011

 

 

 

Getting outside with your child can be the most uplifting, enjoyable and connecting time you can spend together. Here are some ways I made my gardening experience with my granddaughter a time we will both remember with love.

Are you ready to embrace nature? Are you ready to connect to the world of nature?  When is a garden not just a garden?  It is when you embrace nature and connect in a way like no other.  Many find gardening therapeutic, some say gardening has an almost zen-like effect for them.  I say that gardening, making things grow strong, beautiful and at the same time fragile is a miracle happening before my eyes.

Here are some tips to make your garden your little miracle .

1) Start with great soil:  Soil is not just soil but an ecosystem of micro-organisms.  It is home to natures creatures such as  worms, beetles and snails.  A good organic mulch will nourish your soil which in turn will nurture your plants.

2) Add scents to your garden: Shrubs, trees and flowers that enhance your senses such as smell will also attract insects which is vital for pollination.  Try planting a Dwarf Korean Lilac Paliban, Mock Orange or Summer Sweet.  Your garden will flourish naturally and smell wonderful.  Research shows that scents may increase your brain function and help maintain focus.

3) Nurture wildlife:  Flowers and fruit trees will provide not only a wonderful and enchanting garden but also provide food and lodging to wildlife.  Birds will love your garden and will constantly fly in for a visit.

4) Nectar, the juice of Gods?: Insects, bees and butterflies will visit in abundance and will thrive on the nectar from plants across the seasons.  Bulbs and trees can provide nectar all year round.  Your garden will become an oasis for these lovely flying specimens.

5) Color your garden:  People and insects alike are attracted to color.  If you are looking to create a garden delight try to choose colorful blooms in all forms such ast tubular, flat, umbel and daisy.

6) Water is a magnet:  Wildlife fluttering around in water creates a magical sound to the ear.  Whether you have a pond or simple bird bath you are going to delight in the magic of splashing and gurgling wildlife.

Enjoy your garden, look upon it as a magical place for all to enjoy.  Take a risk, put in color, water and most of all nurture your garden and your little visitors. Sit back and enjoy.

Kid Friendly Edible Flower Garden

May 20, 2011

 

Spring is finally here and the gardener in all of us is just waiting to be released. 

This year why not have some fun with your garden and plant edible flowers.  A benefit of growing edible flowers is that they are safe for children.  Children will have not only fun planting an edible flower garden but it can be a great opportunity to get them outside learning about nature and then into the kitchen learning some basic cooking.  Letting kids help with simple tasks that they can achieve gives them a great sense of strength and independence. 

These flowers a great addition to you kitchen but they add lovely color to your garden.

Here is a list of easy to grow edible flowers :

1) Daisies – When we were kids we used to play “he loves me , he loves me not”, now daisies have another use besides telling your love life and adding sparkle to your table.  The petals are edible. Their lovely white color looks fabulous scattered over a salad or sprinkled on soup.  Perfect for you toddler to make a tasty flower soup!

2) Clover – clover grows wild in many fields. As children we would try sucking the sweet nectar out of the trumpet.  Today we know that the whole flower is edible and are actually a high source of protein. If you child has guinea pigs or rabbits they will love the clover also!

3) Sunflower – the seeds of the sunflower are edible but did you know that the buds and petals are also edible?  These flowers grow so high that you can measure your childs growth against the stalk of the flower.  Their taste is somewhere between bitter and sweet.

4) Roses – the rose petals are edible although the white part of the petal tends to be bitter so it is best to cut that part off.  Some ways to use rose petals are on top of decorated cakes or placed in water for ice cubes.  The red rose petals tend to be a bit tastier than the other colors.

5) Pansies – The flowers and petals are edible and so vibrantly pretty.   Use the Pansy for decorating cakes ( fairy cake?) and sprinkling on salads. 

Those are our top 5 picks of edible flowers for your garden.  Easy to plant and grow, even if eating your flowers is not for you they will make a lovely addition to you garden .

Gardening With Kids

May 6, 2011

Getting your kids involved in gardening is a great way to teach them about the environment, our climate, the birds and the bees and so much more.  Turn your time with your child into quality time and learn together about gardening.

Not so good with flower gardens? No problem!  Start a vegetable garden with your child and not only will they learn about gardening they will also learn where their vegetables come from.  Research has shown that children that grow their own vegetables tend to eat more of them, a great plus to vegetable gardening.

Here is a list of the easiest vegetables to start your child friendly vegetable garden:

1) Zucchini – Children can experience eating a zucchini flower.  They will learn about male and female flowers and fertilization

2) Pole Green Beans are fun because the vines climb up taller than them.  They will enjoy hunting for and picking the green beans.

3) Carrots – Children enjoy picking carrots out of the dirt to discover how big they got.

4)Cucumbers – If you want to try something new and have the space, you can grow a cucumber tunnel.  Set up the frame of the tunnel they way you want and let the cucumbers climb on the structure to cover it.

Keep in mind that vegetable gardens for kids must be accessible so think of planning out a vegetable garden close to their play area.  They will recognize this as their own area, will be able to see the progress and even snack while playing!

Looking to raid the vegetable garden for you dinner table?  Don’t forget to ask permission, this will show that you respect your Childs’ hard work and they will feel proud to contribute to the dinner table.

There is nothing better or tastier than home grown veggies!