Finally spring is here, and with the arrival of spring we usually think of things like green grass, flowers and gardens. Having a garden, regardless of if it is a flower garden or a vegetable garden can be a wonderful addition to your yard. There are many other reasons that having a garden can bring joy into your life though, especially if you have children.
I remember as a child our yard was abundant with daffodils and many different colors of iris. We had huge rose bushes of pink, red and white. Spring time was always green and beautiful. Playing “Secret Garden” with my sister is one of my best memories of our wonderful yard.
I have many vivid memories of gardening with my mother in the spring. Now that I am a mother too, I want my children to have memories of their own to cherish. I have organized together a few ideas for you to help you share gardening experiences with your children as well.
If you don’t already have a garden then you will need to choose seeds or starter plants. Starter plants are plants that are already started. Not seeds. I like to get flowers in starter form because then it doesn’t take me as long to get flowers. Let your children help you pick out what kind of flowers and veggies that they want to grow. It will help them to keep interest later on.
Next, you will want to plant them. Most kids just love to get all dirty and are more than happy to help you get dirty too. If for some reason you have a child that doesn’t like to get dirty, it might help to get them some fashionable gardening gloves. I know for sure that some little girls would be all about having a nice pair of gloves and a sunhat.
After your seeds are planted have your children tend to “their” plants. Let them take turns watering; I find that a watering can is a more sensible solution for small children; a hose may result in a huge dirty mess. While you’re weeding around your plants, let them help and show them the difference between the two.
Gardening can be both educational and healthy for your little ones, not to mention fun! After your veggies have fully grown your children can take part in helping pick them when they are ready.
My suggestions for kids’ veggies are cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and strawberries. These are plants that are easy to pick and simple to see when they are ripe and ready to pick. One problem you may have is that they will like them so much they will pick and eat them when you’re not looking, but it is better for them than a bag of chips, right?
When all of your plants are well grown and your flowers are blooming beautifully, take pictures. Have your children pose in front of their favorite ones and maybe let them pick a few for their photo. (You can use them for decoration in the house when you’re done.) These photos will be great for scrapbooks and also help your children feel proud of their accomplishment.
So as you can see, there are many advantages to having a garden. I know in the summer it is so nice to just go out to the garden and pick the produce for a salad. It can be a very satisfying feeling to know that you’re eating something you grew, and your children will feel the same way.
You can have the same feeling by having a yard with flowers. A really cool idea that kids’ seem to like is having a picnic near the flowers. Get some bowls and fill them with the ripe tomatoes and sugar snaps. Then lay a blanket out. You can even make some sandwiches and add some juice boxes to complete your special picnic.
Beginning a garden is a great experience. I know that I will be planting some gorgeous flowers and yummy veggies this year.