Children love the wonders of nature found in a garden, from the bugs to the scent of flowers. Encourage your child to learn the art of gardening by giving him a plot of his own where he can plant flowers and vegetables. When a child is taught something at a young age, it stays with him for life. He'll take those lessons with him as he teaches his own children how to garden.
Gardening with children is fun. You'll see the plants through their eyes. Be prepared to answer questions about where seed comes from, why worms slither back into to soil the way they do, why you have your hands in cow poo, and why the leaf of a particular herb smells like roast chicken.
Make it a playful garden for your child. Plant runner beans beside a sunflower, so the plants can grow up together. Plant berries like raspberry, blackberry and gooseberry, so your child can pick his own crop and offer a sweet dessert to the family. Quirky plants are great additions to child's garden. Just about any plant with the word gigantica on the label may grow larger than the child. Consider over-sized vegetables like pumpkins and watermelons. Odd-shaped gourds hold a child's imagination.
Add plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, like butterfly bush, viburnum, marigold, cosmos, hollyhocks, and bee balm. A child's interest may wain, so encourage him to choose garden plants that grow quickly. Consider morning glory vines for their vigorous twining and fast results, or pick bedding plants that are already in flower at the garden center.
Ask your child what he'd like to have in his garden. Show him gardening books filled with illustrations. Take him to a garden nursery and allow him to pick a few plants he'd like in his garden. Get them their own gardening tools
, like a shovel or a garden hoe. Show them the importance of watering correctly with a drip irrigation kit
or a sprinkler can.
Let a child's early gardening experiences be fun and pleasurable. Delight in his delight. Cheer him on in his endeavors as his own little garden becomes a mini-oasis.