Researchers find activities like gardening can improve mental health and contribute to a healthy weight. The increased physical activity reduces stress, and increases happiness. You also build better eating habits when grow your own vegetables. With benefits like this why are we not seeing more adults and children interested in gardening? For starters it begins with the young. Cultivating children’s interest in gardening at a very young age shows that as adults they continue to garden. Children’s gardens should be a place of fun and inhibition so they can be free to explore and learn as they grow.
Designing and Planting…Designing gardens for kids should be filled with fun plants that are easy to grow from seed. Therefore you want to get them involved in the design process, after all it is their space. Use plants like Sunflowers, Chinese lanterns, and Celosia, just to name a few. Bright colors and textures are big attractions that draw in the most curious gardeners of all ages. Be sure to include native shrubs and perennials. They attract local birds and wildlife to the garden. It is important to show children how important natives are and the role they play in our ecosystem.
Stimulate their sense of smell…Fragrance is so important to spark their interest. Plants like Heliotrope, Primrose, Lilac, Lavender and Peonies are great additions to any garden and easy to grow.
Edible Gardening…Always mix edible plants with flowering plants. Planting vegetables and flowers together teaches children the importance of attracting pollinators, like bees and beneficial insects to the garden. Flower and fruit production from pollination are keys to the success of the garden.
Garden Architecture…Add structure to the garden using an arbor or pergola. Make a garden path for little feet to walk. Have the children create their own stepping stones using found objects, like stones, marbles, seashells in concrete molds. Hand and footprints stepping stones are always popular for the kids to make.