Yes, this one is about kids, big and small!
So you’re planning a garden for your kids, or just for kids in general? Awesome! Starting kids early on in the garden means they are certainly going to become crazy plant people, which is my favourite kind of people.
If you’ve been reading up about gardening for kids, you will notice that the main drive is a sensory garden, to help them develop their senses and to encourage communication about nature.
Here is my take on the best plants for a sensory garden.
Touch – honestly there is nothing better than lambs ears (Stachys byzantina) as they are so, so soft to touch and are not toxic if ingested. Thats not to say you won’t have a wobbly tummy, just no dreadful side effects. When these get too wet their leaves might become daggy, pull these off and leave to break down or pop in the mulch. You can also split these throughout your garden.
Image from Gardenia.net
Smell – Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) has got to be a go to here, the smell reminds me of being small and picking it for my cubby house. You can use it in cooking too, it can be grown from a cutting and it is pretty hardy.
I love Mexican marigold (Tagetes lemmonii), when watering or if you brush by it it has a strong passion fruit smell. Some people hate the smell though, and be warned it will self seed.
Image of Mexican marigold from zephs.com.au
Taste – its so hard to pick one! so I will go for two. Strawberries, because, well, strawberries. I’m going to try my hand at alpine strawberries (Fragaria vesca) just for fun. Make certain to put straw underneath to stop the berries from rotting.
Also, cape gooseberries (Physalis peruviana). This was SO much fun to pick when we were kids, the fruit is quite tart and comes in its own little fairy bag.
Images from organicgardener.com.au & lubera.co.uk
Hear – there are a few ways you can interpret this. One of the sounds I love in my garden is rustling grasses in the wind. A big pot of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) should do the trick, as it doubles in a stir-fry or as a tisane.
Another interpretation might be a running pond fountain or a bog garden for frogs.
By far my favourite sound is the group of New Holland Honey Eaters that have been visiting my garden lately. They go straight for my eremophila that is currently flowering – (Eremophila maculata). A water wise plant that will survive in sandy soil!
See – well whats not to see in a garden?! Saying that, if you get an opportunity to plant something a little strange looking you’ll engage in some interesting conversations with your miniature human.
Hoya (Hoya carnosa) have incredibly interesting flowers. Multiple flower heads arrange in a half sphere. The flowers appear to be thick wax with a fur coating and produce a sweet nectar droplet in the middle. Hoya are relatively slow growing so be patient.
Haworthia are super strange looking succulents. I think they look like you can pop them. The have fat strange shaped leaves. My favourites are Haworthia asciata and Haworthia cooperi.
Images from lifle.com & worldofsucculents.com
There is so much more I could tell you about gardening with mini-me’s but I’ll leave it at that for today. Be sure to get in touch if you want more ideas or comment below with any questions!