Garden Design for Kids

I often use my home as one big canvas for experimenting. (Thank goodness my family is used to me and my creative ideas.) As the weather warms up here in North Carolina, I'm ready to dig into my next big project which involves creating a garden room for my kids.

I've already started on sketches of the outdoor space, and the functional aspects - for what a one and five year old might like to use. This is usually the first step in my design process - just getting the ideas out on paper and figuring out what really works. This way I also have something to show my son, and see if it meets with his approval. So far, he's my toughest client, but he's coming around.

Last weekend, we agreed on creating a small garden and play area within view of my kitchen windows and back deck. Since it is really hot here in the summer months, it is important for me to create shady areas. Right now, there are no trees in the area to offer this shade, so with my husband's assistance, I'll create a tee-pee like structure out of bamboo or willow to support the growth of large vines. We have also decided on a sunflower room with giant sunflowers.
I think both of these areas will offer some shady spots.

The kids garden will also have these key elements in the overall design:

- Garden Art (of course)
- A shallow water feature
- Edible plants to learn about gardening
- Sand for play
- Some sort of hand-built fencing material around the garden
- Transitional spaces for next year

I've also decided that this is a multi-year project. The kids aren't old enough yet for the tree house I've designed. But maybe in a few more years...

To get them in on the idea, we started with a book A Child's Garden: Introducing Your Child to the Joys of the Garden

After a few evening stories, we decided on some plants. We are currently considering:

- Lamb's ear
- Tomato plants
- Giant Sunflowers
- Pumpkins
- Carrots
- Small potatoes

Right now my yard is completely blank so I'm hoping that this project will take root pretty quickly.

I'll keep you all posted :-)

Creatively yours,

Spring 062

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