I was inspired after doing my review of The Garden Classroom in March so decided to bring the ebook (affiliate link) back into my reading rotation and thought about what we could do this spring and summer to make gardening more fun for our children.
I had mentioned making a little garden in a tray for the children but I think it all quickly got out of hand when hubby began digging up our stone garden and ordered some topsoil to plant a small lawn for the children to play on…and it didn’t stop there, another 4 tons of soil recently replaced the back yard stones as well! A small veggie plot was arranged and some potatoes were planted along with some chives transplanted from a pot today.
Now, back to the beginning…Our planned potato project didn’t ‘take root’ this year, but that same week we received The Garden Classroom. I kept a couple of the ideas in my head over the next couple of months.
In May a few days of warm weather had us outside and wanting to be ‘useful’. I recalled that the children’s watering can had blown away last year after it had been missed getting put way for the night. We could have bought a new one…but why do that when you don’t need to?
We made our own out of a plastic milk bottle. This was great because we can use different sizes of bottles depending on who is using the ‘can’ and how much water they are able to easily carry.
The children LOVED their DIY watering jugs and tears were actually shed when Daddy accidentally threw one of them away with the recycling one day. So with the replacement in place the children used permanent makers to decorate the sides of the jug so that there would be no mistaking its purpose!
These watering jugs were so much fun for the children to use. They watered the strawberries, the daffodils, tulips, bushes, and even the stones. Tristan enjoyed going to the bathroom sink and refilling the jugs. He has such a big heart and filled Kallista’s up as well…but she emptied hers faster than he could fill!
How did she do this? By standing outside the door, unscrewing the cap on the jug and pouring all of the water out at once! She was having such a good time I really couldn’t stop her. She created a nice little puddle and received such joy from stamping her feet and splashing about, watching the water ‘jump’ all around her! I didn’t even care that she had cream tights on that may never look clean again; her pure joy put a smile right across my face, as well as any neighbours who may have seen her through their windows.
For Mother’s Day we planted some pansy seeds in egg cartons. Another great recycling project. The egg cartons can go right into the ground as they will decompose. However, we transplanted our seedlings because we were unsure about the purple dye from the cartons leaching into the soil. Note to self; although the purple egg cartons look pretty for Mother’s Day, use undyed cartons for planting use in the future.
As in previous years we are growing potatoes in pots. It wasn’t planned as such this year, but one or two little ones must have been missed during last fall’s harvest as they came up on their own this year – bonus for us!
We had hoped to do some foraging over our back fence for elderflowers but as they should be picked on a sunny day and our weather was wet, they had all been blown off before the sun made a return. But this is something I want to do now that it’s been confirmed the tree is indeed elderflower. This will give us something to look forward to next year when hopefully we won’t be quite so busy (haha, I know!).
Here’s an updated photo of our front lawn now, so all the hard work the boys did was well worth it. It just had it’s first ‘haircut’ this week. The children were going crazy getting their hands on the clippings!
Tristan likes to help with the watering, while Kallista prefers to stay back and keep dry.
And the back lawn is coming along nicely, too. You can’t say we don’t offer a choice of entertainment when guests call in. They have their choice of watching paint dry or watching the grass grow! The children find the grass much more entertaining. In the background you can see our very small veggie patch.
This has been a summer of learning for the children so far, and there’s still 6 weeks to go! Now that the main things have been taken care of, we can begin to do some ‘fun’ things in the garden. Where shall we begin?