Gardening for Little Ones
Recently I was asked to design garden beds with a cottage feel. Great, one thing I knew about the clients they had a year and a half old. As a Mama myself, I know what my little one at that age did, everything EVERYTHING goes in the mouth. I know personally I did not want to plant anything that could even be remotely toxic.
Upon researching I found the Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock which was recommended by the kidsgardening.org website. The link is http://poisonpusplants.ansci.cornell.edu/alphalist.html.
Perennial/Annual Plants that are safe and wonderful for touch, sight, and smell.
- Lambs Ears
- Lemon Balm
- Lemon Verbena
- Northern Bayberry
- Rosa rugosa
- White Sage
Just to name a few!
Activities to involve kids in the garden is to plant vegetables and herbs with solid good annual floral choices, like sunflowers and zinnias. Create a section that is ‘theirs’ to take care of, either a raised bed, container, or a newly made bed for them to cultivate. Let the choice be theirs on what they would like to grow and do not overwhelm them with choices. Bring them to the local nursery and let them select three to five (maximum) seeds for them to plant.
Vegetables and fruit are fun to grow cause at the end, they can eat their harvest. Nasturiums are fun to grow cause you can eat the flowers and they look beautiful as an accent piece to a dinner plate. Remember this is their garden! Assist if need be by reading the instructions to sowing, watering, and gently remind them to water cause it is hard for younger kids to remember. Most are eager to play with water and dirt. Show them how to weed to help their seedlings grow and they will marvel how quickly they will grow!