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 Ed to grow up understanding and appreciating all things gardening.
My mother would argue that it hasn’t done me any harm (Hi Mum!) We grew up in inner city Bristol..we had a garden but it was overgrown. My husband, however, grew up in Cornwall and his parents grew most things in the garden..they were a bit like Tom and Barbara (Hi mother-in-law!) Now, we have a garden and we’re lucky to have an apple, pear plum and fig tree along with black and red currant bushes that we can pick every summer.
I love making jam and chutney every year, but it still feels like a novelty. My husband is a keen gardener and Ed helps him out with most things from building a patio (!?) and growing tomatoes to planting flowers from seed. We have recently given Ed 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.
Back to being interested, I wish I had grown up with more of a knowledge of gardening and plants/flowers and perhaps I’m living vicariously through my son. But 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.
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.
I would love to know what other people think about gardening with kids and/or you have interesting experiences/advice about the subject.