The gardening season is now in full swing, and with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show just coming to an end you’d be forgiven for associating gardening with green-fingered adults and retired people.
However, gardening is becoming more ‘fashionable’ with kids and young people. 17-year-old YouTube gardener Huw has had millions of views, and The Skinny Jean Gardener promotes gardening for all the family.
It is, of course, not just a fashion. Gardening is vital for the environment, and there are many benefits to getting children interested. Schools and communities are focusing more on growing, and people realise the importance of organic and sustainable food, along with the need to create wildlife habitats for bees and other important species.
Growing up, I didn’t know the difference between a crocus flower and a sweet pea. I wouldn’t have known where blackcurrants came from or different types of tree or garden bird. Now, I’m learning from my husband, and we’re keen for our 3-year-old son to grow up understanding and to appreciate all things gardening.
My son helps my husband out with most things gardening from building a patio (!?) and growing tomatoes to planting flowers from seed. We have recently given him his own patch of the garden. He has his own gardening gloves and gets stuck in!
Of course, not everyone is interested in gardening or has a garden and people live in different circumstances, but there are always smaller things you can grow at home from flowers in window boxes to cress on the window sill. Other ideas listed on the websites below include: making a bug hotel; tracking your garden snails, building a wormery; decorating a plant pot..the list goes on.
It’s proven that gardening is a healthy way for kids to learn and have fun. Research also suggests that children will develop a greater interest in healthy eating if they get to grow their own vegetables. Check out Easy Fruit and Vegetables to grow with Children for suggestions.
It’s also a lovely way to interact with your children. My husband and son both enjoy spending time in the garden and we are also lucky that his Grandma in Cornwall has a huge garden which he can explore and enjoy with her when we visit.
For lots of ideas for gardening with children check out the links below.