The following is a post by contributing writer Michelle of Lagniappe Academy.
It’s never too late to start a new garden. And what better way to spend the summer than creating and tending to a fun themed garden with your children? Here are a few ideas for themes that promise fun and learning opportunities.
Feeling ambitious? Fill your yard with plants representing every letter of the alphabet. Browse a seed catalog or the seed racks at your local garden store for ideas. You and your child can make fun garden markers to point out where each letter is represented. Start with the bushes, trees, and other plants that already surround your home, and build from there.
Kids love seeing butterflies fluttering around the garden. Invite butterflies in with a variety of colorful plants in a sunny spot. Add a bird bath or a shallow dish of water with rocks in it (butterflies need water, too!), a dark colored rock for a resting perch, and parsley or dill for caterpillars to much on and replenish your butterfly colony. Attractive plants for butterflies include cosmo, forget-me-not, verbena, zinnia, bee balm, purple coneflower, and butterfly bush.
Think beyond vegetables, fruit trees, and herbs for this one. Consider plants with edible flowers and leaves as well. Just remember not to use chemicals around these, including bug sprays and weed killers. Think about adding these fun and beautiful plants to your edible garden: dandelion, geranium, nasturtium, pansy, sunflower, viola, and strawberry.
It’s no secret. I have mad love for fairy gardens. You can find information on how to make one by browsing my Pinterest fairy gardens board, this article, and these posts. Your fairy garden can be as elaborate or as simple as you like.
This is a perfect garden for children learning the colors of the rainbow. You can mix them up or plant them in the proper order, even in an arch if you have the space for it. Consider tall red sunflowers in the back, and tiny violet flowers up front. No space? Use a small pot or other container for each color.
This is my newest obsession! Think outside the gardening box for unusual planters: an old shoe, a musical instrument, or a colander. Browse garage sales for cheap containers that could be turned into planters (just remember to add drainage holes, if not already porous). Then get creative with decorations: brightly painted containers, fences, and trellises; colorful flag banners; or homemade wind chimes.
Michelle is a wife, mother, writer, and Cajun who prefers everything extra spicy. Follow along at Lagniappe Academy for more of their gardening and homeschooling adventures.