Gardening with kids

Little girl with flowers
Nurture budding green thumbs by planting oversized flowers and brightly coloured blooms. Kids adore sunflowers, especially when they begin to tower above their heads. Sow seeds directly in the ground, then watch them shoot skywards. When the sunflowers inch just above your kids’ heads, mark their height on the stem with a ribbon. As the sunflower continues to grow, the ribbon will grow higher and higher. Want the tallest sunflowers in the neighbourhood? Grow ‘Skyscraper’ from Kings Seeds, which grows a staggering 3.60m high.

Other annuals that grow easily from seed include marigolds, zinnias, cosmos and everlasting flowers. Do the nose test too and include perfumed plants, such as carnations, sweet peas, sweet alyssum, stock and wallflowers. Alyssum is low-growing, so it’s an excellent candidate for sowing in patterns or shapes – or write your child’s name with the seeds.

For the ultimate enticement into the garden, give your kids their own personalised plot. Build a small raised bed and paint your child’s name on the sides in bright colours to create a sense of ownership. If using containers, buy unglazed pots to paint on. Give your kids their own tools, watering can and gloves too.

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