Monday, 8 March 2010

Tots garden design ideas...

I've been asked to take on responsibility for the little garden that belongs to the 'Nature Tots' group I volunteer at. I'm not sure if I can take full responsibility for it, because when I get a job the time I have available might change and I might not be able to volunteer there any more. But for now I've started thinking of ideas for a really simple garden for the children in our group, who are aged 0-5 and they come with their parents who help their kids with all the activities we plan. I wanted to do a mixture of flowers and veg, have it really colourful, things that grow relatively quickly, and to grow stuff the kids eat (we have veggies and stuff at snack time half way through) so that the whole planting veg thing is really meaningful for the children. And I really want to do a pumpkin for Halloween, so we can have a pumpkin carving activity with the older ones! There's another bit of garden I'd also like to use but I'm not sure if I can - if we do I'd like to do some root veg in it, potatoes so we can dig them up (which is always fun) and bake them on one of our campfires and some carrots, we always have carrots at snack time so I'd like the kids to see where they come from (other than tescos lol!) and mix in some wildflower seed mix scattered about so there's some pretty bits to look at.

I've done some gardening with children when I was teaching, but I wasn't really in charge of choosing plants and stuff. I'm really, really, really, reeeally happy to have been offered more responsibility with the group I'm not too sure what I'm doing! It'll be fun finding out though!

This is my plan, the area is about 3 meters long (along the longest bit of the triangle), if anyone has any ideas about how to do it better, or of other super-quick growing plants or has any advice I'd be really grateful!?


  1. Hi Sooz!!!
    It's a long time since I've commented your blog posts, sorry, but now I popped over your blog and find those great news!!! I'm very glad that spring is over there now after a long tome of cold.
    But here my lilies aren't still in bloom, and the garden is a pool for floods. :(
    Tomorrow is even snowing! And I go asking: "Dear spring... when are you coming?"
    Anyway teaching children to grow vegs is a beautiful thing and it must be a source for many satisfactions for you all. I'm not so able to do it, so I can't give you an aid, but surely I'll follow your progress if you will show us on the blog. So see you soon! ;)

  2. WOW, this is really awesome!!

    I'm not skilled in gardening enough to comment on that, maybe you can ask at a gardening forum (there are quite a few online) or see if there are any local eco gardeners/permaculture experts who might be happy to help?
    (I got contacts to some here, am planning to contact them!)

    pumpkins and cucumbers are going to crawl everywhere, also they may 'marry' (and produce odd results, happened to us last year) so it's good to keep them apart and give them enough space (we had our pumpkins on the compost and another designated spot)
    also check about the shadows and sun, and 'good neighbours' (there are lists in books)

    Strawberries are always popular with kids here too, not sure if you have space enough?
    It's good if tomatoes have a 'roof' to prevent mold (and avoid spraying)
    If I think of anything else I'll post :)

  3. That sounds like lots of fun! I help at the garden at my boys' school. Besides just learning about plants we also learn about bugs, like which ones are good (helpful) and which ones aren't. We also raised caterpillars and released them when they became butterflies. The kids love garden day and I think really learn a lot from it.

  4. I think it excellent what you are doing!!!!!
    I loved your about me, I thought it was brilliant!
    Isn't it amazing what we can learn when we really open ourselves up for change!
    You go girl!!!
    I am getting ready to post some gardening idea's on my vegan blog, come visti me and we will chat on how to change the world!!!!

    Hugs, Brandi, aka, vivaciousvegan!!!

  5. Hi Danda :) How lovely to 'see' you here! We're still having some cold days, but the sun has definately been making it's presence known! I hope your spring hurrys up and soon your lillies are in bloom!

    Layla - thats really good info, thanks, I knew the pumpkin and cucumber were going to crawl, I was going to put canes up so they went up rather than out (hopefully!) but I didn't know that they would try to make babies together - fancy a cucumpkin children?! Maybe I'll move the pumpkin far away from the cucumber then! And strawberries, thanks for reminding me of that - I thought of them and then forgot to put them on my plan - I'll have to find a space for them too! yum! Thankyou! :)

    Hi Julia, Lovely to see you here :) I agree, children learn so much from being outside! I like the idea of teaching them about bugs too - we've done some bits about worms and bees, but I think we'd like to learn about some other helpful insects too - Thanks for the idea!

    Hi Brandi and welcome :) Thanks so much for visiting my blog, it's really nice to have you here :) I'll definatey be visiting your blog :)


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