Children’s Gardens

THERE are many plants for indoor and outdoor cultivation that produce results in a remarkably short time. These make an ideal basis for a children’s garden, which should be full of incident. With guidance, children can derive endless amusement from a plot of land which is set apart for their own use.

MAKING A GARDEN

Where there is space for a children’s garden out-of-doors, the job of actually preparing the ground will come in the spring. First comes the fun of planning and laying out. During the winter, when the ground is unworkable it is an absorbing task to draw a plan of the garden. The position of flower beds, lawns, paths and rocks, can be marked in different colours. Find out which plants like shade and which like sun, and plan the position of the beds accordingly. A rock garden, for instance, should always be in a sheltered but bright corner.

A children’s garden need not be simply a flower or vegetable bed, though many young gardeners take a pride in just such a well-dug, weedless plot of their own.

A LANDSCAPE GARDEN

The site can be laid out as a landscape in miniature. The ground can be heaped up to form mountains and hills, and small trees can be planted in clumps to look like forests. A pile of two or three old grey stones or moss-covered bricks will make a convincing ruined castle, and the roads and paths can be made of fine gravel.

A POND GARDEN

A pond garden, which is quite simple to construct, makes a fascinating play-area for children; but do not provide an area or depth of water into which a small child might fall and drown. The pond could be cement-lined and have one or more islands with caves, cliffs and secret pirate harbours, made by heaping stones in the pond. Plant water weeds that will grow quickly; the pond could also be stocked with fish. Plant dwarf trees round the edge, and make a rock garden with the soil that was dug out when making the pond.

A MAP GARDEN

An alternative design for a children’s garden might be a relief map of the British Isles or some other country. Mark mountain ranges with stones and forests with miniature trees. Dig ditches for the larger rivers, line them with cement, and fill them with water. If the map is large enough, the different counties could be planted with different-coloured flowers, particularly such low varieties as Virginia stock (Malcomia maritima).

A ROSE GARDEN

It is quite easy to make a tiny, formal rose garden. Make lawns from moss, or from some of the dwarf fescue grasses usually found in an old lawn. The miniature lawns can be ‘mown’ with nail scissors. Many miniature rose bushes are quite inexpensive, and none grows taller than l ft. high. Roulettii, the smallest, is seldom more than 6 in. high. These dwarf roses come in pots, so that they can be put into the ground at any time of year. Treat them like hybrid tea roses, and prune them with nail scissors.

16. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, Garden Management, Gardening Calendar | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Children’s Gardens

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