Gardening does take some work, but it should still be fun and not a chore – after all, it’s an activity that the whole family can enjoy. What could be nicer than sharing your love for all things green with your children? However, many people struggle to get kids in the garden with them. If that sounds familiar then keep reading. A wonderful way to involve the whole family is to transform your garden space into a child-friendly, sensory environment, full of marvellous and mysterious interactive plants that will capture their imagination and tantalise their senses. Here’s a few suggestions to get you started:
Swiss chard is a leafy vegetable, and the variety ‘Bright Lights’ has brightly coloured leaf stalks which vary between white, red, pink and yellow. They are as tasty as they are beautiful. Like spinach, but easier to grow, one sowing can produce enough chard to last many months.
Coleus has stunningly coloured foliage in combinations of yellow, red, pink, and maroon. It’s considered one of the easiest plants to grow and will do well in almost any type of garden or container. Be careful to keep Coleus under watchful eyes as it can spread and grow very rapidly!
Many plants will give off a very distinct smell, some more enticing than others. A perfect example that kids will love is the infamous curry plant. It’s part of the daisy family and from its leaves a warm, spicy aroma will fill your nose.
If the curry plant is not to your taste, there are other varieties offering a more delicate scent. Salvia elegans ‘Scarlet Pineapple’ has beautiful, tubular, red flowers that give off a sweet scent similar to pineapple. Species of butterflies are attracted by its smell and they love it, so we’re sure your kids will too!
Sensitive or sleepy plant
Touch-me-not is also known as sleep or sensitive plant, and it is a perennial herb which comes from the pea family. When its leaves are touched, blown, or shaken they quickly fold inwards! Studies have said the touch-me-not uses this as a defence mechanism against herbivores. Often, they are grown for curiosity, but they will soon become your kids favourite as they’ll love interacting with them!
Lambs’ ear is a ground-covering, hardy perennial. It gets its name from the feeling of its silvery, soft, fluffy leaves. It will soon become a garden favourite with the children. Not only is it beautiful but they’ll love interacting and playing with this furry plant!
Bamboo are evergreen, perennial plants from the family of grasses. It’s one of the fastest growing plants in the world, with some species growing up to five feet in height in a year! Bamboo stems are usually hollow and therefore will whisper in the wind or when the stems are knocked together, they create a booming sound.
Taste is probably our most loved sense! Growing your own produce provides you with a wealth of yummy vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Strawberries for example are great for kids, they’re known for their bright red colour, juicy texture and of course the sweetness. Strawberries are very easy to grow no matter what size or type of garden you have; you can even try planting them in hanging baskets!
Mint is a great herb to get children’s senses tingling, it can be added to many dishes to enrich the taste! There’s even chocolate mint that can be baked into cakes or added to cocktails, it also smells delicious, just like an After Eight mint.