Monday, 12 March 2012

Gardening with Children

Morning! I hope you all had a fab weekend.  We've been busy clearing the veggie patch in hope of a sizeable crop this year.  Thankfully Connor and Jack have been willing to get digging so we've actually cleared over half of the 30 foot long plot.  Since moving to our house eighteen months ago we've had to do a lot of clearing of old shrubs but we did manage to have a small veggie plot last year, with surprising and tasty results.  Obviously spurred on by last years success Drew and I have been planning a larger plot this year and hope to try to grow a greater variety of veg.

Children's Gardening Set from Mr McGregors

Ever since he could walk Jack has loved being in the garden and digging holes.  I used to joke when he was little that one day he would reach Australia!  Thankfully his keeness hasn't faded and he still loves digging.  He has progessed obviously from digging random holes and now happily clears the veggie patch, cuts down large shrubs and small trees and then digs out the roots. I am also pleased to say that Connor can be torn away from the Playstation to help with some gardening.  Now the girls are a different story.  Amber is scared of creepy crawlies but will happily sprinkle seeds or help drag branches from chopped down trees and bushes to the bonfire pile.  Kitty loves to dig holes and plant things to see if they grow. She has planted all sorts of things, paper, lolly sticks, apple pips and yesterday happily planted some old runner beans she found when we were digging over the veggie patch.  I haven't a clue if these beans will grow, but I know they will be well looked after.  Lucy happily runs around in her wellies, trimming shrubs, digging holes or helping me clear away at the end of the day.  Yet her willingness to help is often sidetracked by the need to turn a few cartwheels across the lawn or a few flips on the trampoline!

Girls Wellies from Joules

Have you got some willing helpers when it comes to gardening or are your suggestions of help met with moans and groans?  I think capturing their enthusiasm when children are little bears fruit as they get older, as they are still keen to help, even if only for half an hour.  Also by giving them a space, even if a couple of containers, to plant things and watch them grow all helps feed their curiosity and makes them keen gardeners as they grow older.  Rona Wheeldon of Flowerona recently wrote about a bulb planting workshop with BBC Blue Peter's gardener Chris Collins.  Chris is the frontman for the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and has also recently written a book with Lia Leendertz, 'RHS Grow Your Own For Kids : How To Be A Great Gardener'.  I am thrilled to see that there is more being done to encourage children to get outside, get dirty and grow things.  Whether it's some cheery daffodils or yummy beans children will love growing things and it also gives them a great sense of achievement to see something they have planted come up out of the soil.

Wacky Wheelbarrow from John Lewis

Do your children have their own space in the garden to grow things? I would really love to see and maybe share some here on the blog.  So send a photo or two of their garden/growing space and details of what they are hoping to grow, my email is  I really hope we can inspire each other by sharing some real gardening spaces.  Please do not worry if you don't have much space for your children to grow things, photos of plants they are growing on a windowsill or lettuce leaves in a container on a balcony are just as important in letting children grow something.  I will add an album to our Facebook page today aswell so I can add your photos there aswell, I may even work out if you can add them yourselves!

Have fun digging,


Courtenay said...

Lovely post, and I hope your garden experimenting is loads of fun. There is nothing nicer then to get the whole family involved in the gardening. From learing about plants to growing your own food and to studying the wildlife too of course. We have done this with all our children (and still do), I think it brings a real sense of belonging to them, the garden is more than just a play space :-)

Zoe Grant said...

I completly agree, the garden is so much more than a play space. Enjoy your garden Courtenay :)

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