I have decided that the time has come for me to commit to making the allotment, as well as the garden, fun for my children, and that means sacrificing some space for them. All that is currently there is a big patch of soil, split into vegetable beds with horse poo on. It is not really surprising that my daughter doesn’t want to go! So, I have selected a space that I will give her, and will let her design it herself.
My daughter, like many other 4 year old girls, is very much into pretty things so we intend to plant lots flowers as well as vegetables in her garden. As you can see from the plan her garden will include:
- A mud kitchen: for this I will use a cheap (free if possible) second hand unit with bowls, spoons and kitchen utensils. Mud is great for children for a number of reasons, it provides a sensory experience, encourages role play, artistic development as well as being just plain old fun! There are also a number of microbes found in mud that are great for our immune systems. In fact I will be writing an article purely on mud and mud kitchens later in the year so watch out for that.
- A sweet pea tepee: this will be constructed from bamboo canes with sweet pea plants growing up them creating the walls. Many people build these using runner beans, but unfortunately we don’t eat them in my house so have opted for sweet peas instead. Sweet pea flowers are great for attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which are not only great for the vegetables but also help the insects as well.
- Sunflower competition: each member of our family will be planting a sunflower and we will see whose grows the tallest. This will involve measuring the flowers and writing the measurement down so is great education for children. Look out for a sunflower competition set in our shop later in the year so you can do this yourself!
- Vegetable beds: it is my experience with children that they eat vegetables much better if they have been involved in growing them themselves. My daughter hasn’t decided what she wants to grow yet so we will that decide nearer the time.
The garden will be decorated with colourful windmills and flags to make it look fun and exciting, and we want to put a little fence around the edge, to give it an authentic garden feel.
Now all we need is some nice weather so we can get cracking…