From lit­tle things...

Get out­side and you could have a green thumb on your hands

Warwick Daily News - - GARDEN - With Ma­ree Cur­ran Got a gar­den­ing ques­tion? Email ma­ree@ede­nat­by­ron.com.au

GAR­DEN­ING is one of life’s sim­ple plea­sures, and gar­den­ing with chil­dren is par­tic­u­larly spe­cial. Their nat­u­ral en­thu­si­asm and cu­rios­ity are in­fec­tious.

And ev­ery lit­tle gar­den ex­cur­sion will yield new won­ders as they closely ob­serve the in­cred­i­ble com­plex­ity and beauty of the nat­u­ral world.

Give the kids their own pot or space in the gar­den to grow what­ever they want.

Use seeds or seedlings, or both, but make sure you give the plants the right con­di­tions so your child will have suc­cess.

Use premium pot­ting mix in a pot, and en­rich soil with well-com­posted or­ganic mat­ter for great re­sults in the gar­den.

If you’re us­ing seeds, choose ones that are quick to ger­mi­nate and easy for lit­tle hands to man­age.

Beans are good, and are yummy to eat straight from the plant. Gi­ant sun­flow­ers are in­cred­i­ble, grow­ing quickly to pro­duce huge bright flower heads on tall plants that will tower over chil­dren.

Nas­tur­tiums are easy, too, and kids will love suck­ing the nec­tar from the lit­tle spur at the base of the flower.

Straw­berry plants will pro­duce fruit quickly, and there will be ripe straw­ber­ries to pick most days if you plant a few. Cherry to­ma­toes are an­other great choice.

Involve the young­sters in the de­ci­sions about what to plant, and where.

Most kids re­ally en­joy nur­tur­ing plants and watch­ing them grow.

But make it easy for them – heavy wa­ter­ing cans or hoses that kink when­ever you pull on them quickly de­stroy the fun. Get hold of ter­ra­cotta pots, old tins or shoes and get cre­ative. Just about any con­tainer can be painted or dec­o­rated with shells, beads, but­tons, or what­ever, and then planted with masses of flow­ers.

There are plenty of gor­geous and in­ex­pen­sive planter pots avail­able if that suits you bet­ter.

Once you’ve got some things grow­ing, it’s time to start play­ing other games.

Build a fairy house in a se­cret cor­ner. Use flow­ers, leaves, twigs, berries, peb­bles... what­ever is on hand. And who knows, maybe the fairies will visit overnight and leave traces of their pres­ence.

Or build a sim­ple te­pee large enough for the kids to sit in. Long, smooth branches or canes cut from some­thing you have grow­ing in the gar­den will be fine, or grab a packet of tall bam­boo stakes.

Plant it with climb­ing beans. It will quickly be­come a liv­ing tent, a great lit­tle hide­away.

Make a scare­crow, or a bird feeder, or set up a trea­sure hunt. If you’re not sure how, do a quick in­ter­net search – there are so many fab­u­lous ideas there.

When gar­den­ing with chil­dren, just make sure you keep it fun, keep it sim­ple, and give them plenty of con­trol.

There is much to be learned and much fun to be had even in the small­est of gar­den spa­ces, for chil­dren of all ages.

PHOTO: FERNOW

◗ Give the kids their own pot or space in the gar­den to grow what­ever they want, but make it fun.

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