By: Anne Baley
The best way to teach kids to be avid gardeners is to allow them to have their own garden patch at a young age. Some kids might enjoy growing a vegetable patch, but flowers fill another need in life and look more impressive when the little ones want to show off their skills.
You can have even more fun by creating a zoo flower garden with them – putting in flowers and plants with animal names.
Some plants get their names because parts of the flower look exactly like the animal’s head and others because of the color of the plant. This offers the perfect opportunity to talk to your child about different animals and how they fit into the plant world.
You’ll have fun identifying each plant’s characteristics with your child while your garden is growing all season long.
Almost every plant that has an animal name is a flower, so a zoo garden theme will almost always be set around a yard full of fragrant blooms. Sit down with your child and go through some seed and plant catalogs to choose your zoo garden theme.
Talk with your child about his or her favorite colors and animals, and decide together the theme for your zoo garden.
When making a zoo garden for kids, the size of the garden should compare with the size of the child. It’s unreasonable to expect a five-year-old to take care of a garden that fills the yard, but he or she may want to help with some of the chores if you want a large planting.
Older children can handle their own plots, especially if you cut them down to a fraction of the full yard.
Some of the seeds and plants you want to grow may be unusual and difficult to find. Take to the internet to search for small seed companies that may offer odd and rare plants. You’ll have much better luck with a company that services the entire planet than with your neighborhood nursery.
On the other hand, if you find any of your specimens in the local garden shop, you’re better off purchasing them there, because they’re used to growing in your local environment.
The whole idea of gardening with children is to spend time together and make memories. Celebrate your successful garden by taking pictures and making an album of your creation, from planting day to the middle of summer when the garden is filled with bright flowers.
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