Being home with your family is a wonderful time for bonding until you run out of fun things to do. During these unbelievably stressful times, turning to gardening can help everyone.
Planting a garden together can be educational for young and old alike. Very young children can learn numbers and colors as they count out seeds or identify plants. Older children can learn science, such as botany, the role of photosynthesis and why the plant world is so important. Teaching kids where their food comes from will make them more aware environmentally.
You can plant theme gardens in a pot or in the ground depending on what you have available. Turn it into a competition to see who can grow the most tomatoes or cucumbers, or make the prettiest bouquet. Help children create a culinary dish from their garden, tell a story about fairies in the garden, or give a garden pot to a neighbor to lighten up their day.
Various theme gardens can be made simply with a pot, soil, fertilizer and some seeds. There are plenty of mail-order nurseries with diverse seed collections. Botanical Interests is one of my favorite seed companies as they put a lot of information on their seed packets.
Some theme gardens to try include a pollinator garden with plants that attract native pollinators like various milkweeds and monarda.
A cool weather vegetable garden with radishes, carrots and cabbage (afterwards, you can gather your young children to tell the story of Peter Rabbit).
A berry garden full of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries, so the whole family can look forward to the first fruits.
Kitchen herbs also make a great theme garden for teaching kids how to cook. Rosemary, basil, thyme, sage and cilantro can all be tasted and smelled so kids can become familiar with them. A pizza garden with a tomato plant, oregano, garlic and basil has always been popular with kids especially when they get to snip the herbs and sprinkle them on a simple pizza.
Children of all ages, even adults, enjoy making miniature fairy gardens where all the fairy lore can be brought out. Tell them how forget-me-nots hold the keys to “fairyland.” If you are looking for a nursery that offers delivery of these types of theme garden kits in these difficult times contact Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm in Severn.