How to Create a Kid-Friendly Garden

Photo by Dave Biesse and Charlotte Leonard

It’s spring! It’s almost Earth Day! It’s beautiful outside! Harness this budding excitement and plan a garden project that the kids can get involved with too.

Here’s how to build a child-friendly garden:

• Choose a small space that will be easy to plant and maintain.
• After assessing light and soil conditions, provide your young gardeners with photographs of plants that will suit the site (nursery catalogues are ideal) and encourage them to choose their favourites.
• Try fun plants such as lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina) and butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii). Be careful with prickly plants like roses (unless you want to use them to keep kids out of that part of the garden), and avoid ones with poisonous seeds or fruit, like castor bean (Ricinus communis) or baneberry (Actaea).
• Fill the entire garden so no soil is left exposed for weeds to grow.
• Encourage frequent interaction with plants by devising projects such as pressing flowers, collecting seeds and monitoring caterpillar development.

—Jen Reynolds, CF’s editor-in-chief and an expert gardener

Developing a new outdoor space or ready for a backyard makeover? Here are 8 more tips for planning your family backyard!

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