Now that Roo and I have moved in our new house for the first time ever I find myself in control of some green space, a garden, a little place for us to enjoy after a day at school. Now we had a garden at the old house but not being a gardener or in any way remotely green fingered I have to say we opted for the easy option of no lawn, raised beds with railway sleepers and lots of slate chippings. Great for grownups but not that great if you’re a 5 year old and want to do the things kids do in gardens like trampolines, swings and space hoppers (or is that just me?).
Our new little house has a lovely garden which is a total sun trap. All day the back garden is bathed in sunshine and late into the evening it’s been lovely to sit outside and write blogs and Roo has loved being able to come home from school and go outside. The problem was though that it was very bare when we moved in and not all that interesting. Apart from two really big peony bushes and a hydrangea at the bottom of the garden there were no flowers and very little colour. Thankfully though this has been rectified with the Get Kids Gardening challenge that we have been joining in with thanks to online plant specialists Plant Me Now. Plant Me Now are one of the largest bedding plant nurseries in the United Kingdom and have been experts in garden plants for over 25 years and their website is packed full of advice on the best plants for your garden and how to attract natural wildlife back in by planting the right mix of flowers.
Kids love the great outdoors and nature but for them gardening isn’t that interesting, or is it? Plant Me Now are trying to challenge the stereotypical view of gardening and get kids out there with little trowels and watering cans and getting their fingers in potting soil and enjoying nurturing and bringing plants from seed to flower. They kindly invited us to try a selection of their summer bedding plants to create an array of colour and then add to this some decorative touches to create a fun colourful garden.
Knowing nothing about plants other than which bits go in the ground I enlisted the help of my dad to pick some suitable bedding plants. Me being a typical girl went for the really pretty ones, dad being a keen gardener kept reminding me to look for things such as ‘hardiness’ and when they flowered. Two of my favourite plants that I picked were some giant dahlias, which always remind me of pompoms and some trailing fuscias called Sir Matt Busby as I am a Man Utd fan (obviously as I don’t live in Manchester).
When the plants arrived they were all in little boxes and I had to leave them with my mum for a few days to babysit whilst I got the garden straight. To encourage Roo to join in I went out and bought some fun lights and her own trowel and mini watering can. When she arrived home on the Sunday the first weekend we moved in she couldn’t wait to get in the garden and as soon as she saw me digging she wanted to have a go. Turning planting into a race to see who could dig the holes the fastest, looking at creepy crawlies we discovered whilst digging and then showing her how to put plants in was lovely.
It was something she’d never done before and she was really pleased and proud when she was able to get the plants out the pots and in the ground. The fact that I’d bought her all her own little gardening tools and the cutest dolphin watering can topped it all off for her.
Putting in our crackle glass solar lights, finding an old bird feeder to bring back to life and bringing some wildlife into our garden are the next stages of creating a happy, fun, bright garden to play in. Roo has already added her own individual touch with the arrival of a light up garden gnome from the school fete last weekend, and I have my eye on a gorgeous windchime to go in the back garden and I will soon have a lovely bright blue pottery chimenea to plant up with lovely trailing plants come the autumn that will be perfect for keeping the garden going all year round.
We’ve added a giant trampoline in the garden for a bit of fun at the moment, together with a swingball and a space hopper and thanks to these amazing gardening ideas for kids boards on Pinterest I fancy making a rainbow hopscotch for us to have a play on in our new green space.