This week is National Children’s Gardening Week – see here for a whole load of fun things to try, from growing cress heads from your egg shells to making a fairy house.
We have our own suggestion. Here in Islington we are gearing up for the Islington in Bloom competition which was launched a few days ago. There are a couple of categories especially designed for children this year: one is Best Children’s Planting and another is Best Children’s Garden Drawing or model. See the poster on the right for details of how to enter.
We have been thinking about this and thought you might be able create a ‘miniature garden’ which could be entered for either category.
The garden can be created in a small container. A garden seed tray is an ideal size - they are usually about 33cm x 22 cm; but any small tray or box would do. Have a look around the house or kitchen – maybe there is an old roasting tin that you could use/borrow. Or for a slightly bigger one, you could perhaps use a wooden fruit box – the sort that tomatoes come in, or a mushroom tray – the blue plastic ones that get left outside veggie shops. If you are going to pick up one of these remember to wash it with soap and water when you get it home, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards too – to avoid spreading the Covid-19 virus.
You can either create your model with paper/cardboard and other bits and pieces around the house, or you can create a more naturalistic garden using small plants or flowers, twigs and leaves that you can pick up either from your own garden if you have one, or maybe from a park.
If you are creating a living garden you will need to make sure it will hold some compost to set your plants into. If you are using a mushroom tray, line it with a plastic bag or similar. Punch some holes through the plastic to let excess water drain out. Small bedding plants can be bought from garden centres which are open again now and many supermarkets have some plants for sale. Alternatively, you could ‘paint a picture’ with fast growing seeds. Fill you container with some multi-purpose compost and level it out. Draw your design with a stick then sow the seeds in the different spaces around your design. You could use different kinds of vegetables (rocket, basil, cress, radishes and lettuce all grow really quickly).
Take a photo of your garden when it is ready and send it in to the Islington in Bloom competition.
In the meantime, have a look at our Kung-Fu Garden photo for inspiration!