How Our Toddler’s Garden Grows

April 22nd, 2010 by Dionna | 9 Comments
Posted in Children, Compassionate Advocacy, Eclectic Learning, Ecological Responsibility and Love of Nature, Environmentalism, Homey Goodness, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family, natural parenting, Preschoolers, Toddlers

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We have been busy planting this past week. Not only have we gotten our vegetable garden started with tomatoes, eggplant, peas, strawberries and blueberries, beans, onions, carrots, and more, but we also added two beautiful flower garden areas.

I wrote a guest post on Strocel.com last month about gardening with children. In the post are 10 unique gardening activities you can do with kids, including things like growing something to wear and growing a craft project. Kieran and I talked about several of the ideas and decided on a few that we wanted to try:

1) a butterfly and hummingbird garden;

2) a rainbow garden; and

3) a scratch and sniff garden.*

The results have been amazing! I’m super proud of all of the work we did (most of the hard work was done by Tom), and we are now anxiously awaiting some winged visitors. Here is what we’ve done so far:

garden 1

This is our rainbow garden. We got two different flowers in each of the traditional rainbow colors (red, orange, yellow, blue, and violet – the green is in the leaves). Most of the flowers are annuals, so we’ll have to replant them each year; annuals just seemed to have more brilliant colors than the perennials we looked at. The three perennials we put in are the yellow mums, St. John’s Wort (which will have yellow flowers eventually), and violet colored Verbana.

In the forefront of the picture is an old planter with two kinds of mint: chocolate and apple. They already smell wonderful! I decided to plant them separately because everything I’ve read said that they spread easily and will choke out the other flowers in your garden. Kieran is very excited to use the leaves and flowers to make flavored tea.

garden 2

This is our butterfly & hummingbird garden. We planted it around the magnolia tree in our backyard. We looked for flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds like Black-eyed Susans, pincushions, and Delphinium. We added hummingbird feeders to the tree branches and some bird baths for our other feathered friends. We used some rocks that Kieran painted to add decoration.

We’re also thinking about planting a sunflower house in the backyard, but we haven’t had a chance to start that endeavor.

Have you planted anything with your kids this year? If you have, be sure to share links to your pictures in the comments.

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*You can find ideas and details on these gardens in my guest post. Check it out for more!
And if you missed it the first time around, be sure to read Amber’s guest post on Code Name: Mama about gardening with little helpers.

9 Responses to:
"How Our Toddler’s Garden Grows"

  1. Katie

    I like your gardens! I have to admit I was slightly confused when I first read rainbow garden, but the picture quickly cleared that up. Very cute!

    We have a very odd back yard, mostly shade with very hot afternoon sun, so not a lot wants to stay alive back there. Last weekend we created a huge play area fenced off from the other portion of the yard for Marin to play in, complete with her water table and we added a play house. This weekend, if the rain holds off long enough, we are going to make her very own flower boxes for her fence and take her to the store to pick them out. I do like the idea of a rainbow. Wonder if I could get her to choose other colors besides pink and purple? :)

  2. Sarah @ OneStarryNight   onestarrynight

    I am so jealous of your yard! I LOVE the rainbow garden, that is just pure awesome right there!

  3. OMG I love the butterfuly and hummingbird garden! This is such a great idea! We have a corner in the backyard where I could totally pull this off. What a great idea, I am so going to do this! =)

  4. Oh, I love it all! The only thing I’ll miss about this summer is the chance to garden more. We’re still hoping to at least get a couple of tomato and cucumber plants and we’ll be spending some time in my brother’s big veggie garden.
    At least my parents do have some flowers! My mum has a v. pretty garden underneath her plum tree. Everett loves it, he calls it his plum tree and helps my mum with it whenever he can.
    I love your hummingbird/butterfly garden! We hung up some hummingbird feeders around here, too and my mum’s got a bird bath beneath her birch tree. Everett delights in watching the birds take a bath!

  5. Dionna   CodeNameMama

    Thanks everyone! The one thing I forgot to mention in the post is that the majority of flowers in the butterfly/hummingbird garden are perennials – we’ll keep our fingers crossed that they will all come back next year!

    • I am seriously going to work on mine this weekend. I am super excited about this idea, so thank you for the inspiration!

  6. Sarah

    We’ve planted a pile of flower seeds already plus pumpkin, corn, peas, and lettuce. E’s choices. The pumpkins will need to be transplanted soon, and so will our sunflowers – they’re huge. But the corn is what E is patiently waiting for. The first little bit is sticking through the soil today – and she’s asking me “When will it be corn Mommy?” : ) I can hardly wait until threat of frost is past – I want to get everything outside soon! lol it’s a bit nerve wracking having a couple gallons of dirt sitting on the sill over my bed :p

  7. I love your butterfly garden! I hope we get a chance to plant some plants this year. I live in Calgary so the growing season is pretty short with the real chance of frost/freeze until well into May. My little guy is almost 3 so he would really enjoy it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  8. What a fun garden! I’ll have to check out that other post. Things to wear? I can’t even begin to imagine what that would be beyond dandelion crowns.

    We haven’t planted anything yet. The last frost date in Colorado is Mother’s Day. We’re thinking of growing some scarlet runner beans up a teepee, but who knows if that’ll actually happen. This year, our main gardening goal is to grow ourselves some organic produce. We’ve already got the tomatoes and tomatillo seedlings growing under a shop light in the basement.

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