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Children in the Garden
To a child a garden can/should be a space to explore, learn, touch & experience. A place of sound, smell, and unbelievable things to see and watch. Did you know that times spend in the childhood garden makes for some of the most vivid adult memories one day! Do what you can to include plants to educate and fascinate - design for wildlife and plan for leisure family time!
Here are a few things to talk and think about:
Include in your planting scheme large foliage with dramatic colour and texture contrasts, Flowers that are brightly coloured (that they should sow themselves!) like sunflowers. Rivers made from pebbles (that they can lay themselves!) and wind chimes of coloured glass (made by them of course!).
Are there butterflies? Ask your little one to sow for Alyssum, butterflies love 'em! And nasturtiums for the larvae.
See what happens when you put a white rose in blue food colouring!
Go to the centre of your garden, sit and close your eyes. What do you hear? Birds? Bees? The wind? Water?
Plants have cool instrumental parts that can rattle (seed heads of Love-in-a-mist) or rustle (sweet corn).
Leaves, stems, bark and flowers all feel different - some are hairy like Lamb's ear (protection against weather) while some are spiky and spiny like cacti (protection against being eaten).
There are many delicious plants to peck from, including fruit, herbs and vegetables. And nothing better than a juicy peach off the tree!
BUT note that you should always know you can't just put any plant in your mouth! Beware of berries, plants with white sap and seeds you don't know!
Poisonous plants usually taste so vile that nobody would want to keep eating after the smallest nibble. But it is definitely advised to remove all poisonous specimens from the garden and home that has children in it.
1 Abrus precatorius - Rosary Pea
2 Aconitum spp. - Monkshood, Aconite, or Wolfsbane
3 Actaea spp. - Baneberry, Dolls Eyes, White Cohosh, Snakeberry
4 Aesculus spp. - Horse Chestnut, Buckeye
5 Agrostemma githago - Corn Cockle
6 Aleurites fordii - Tung Oil Tree
7 Allium spp. - Commercial Onions, Wild Onions, Swamp Onions, and Chives
8 Amanita spp. - Monkey Agaric, Panther Cap, Death Cap, and Death Angel Mushrooms
9 A. muscaria - Fly Agaric
10 A. pantherina - Panther
11 A. verna - Destroying Angels
12 Amaranthus spp. - Pigweed
13 Amsinckia intermedia - Fiddle neck
14 Apocynum spp. - Dogbane
15 Argemone mexicana - Prickly Poppy or Mexican Poppy
16 Arisaema spp. - Jack in the Pulpit
17 Asclepias spp. - Milkweed
18 Astragalus and Oxytropis spp. - Locoweed
19 Atropa belladonna - Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade
20 Brassica spp, - Rape, Cabbage, Turnips, Broccoli, Mustard
21 Caltha palustris - Marsh Marigold or Cowslip
22 Cannabis sativa - Marijuana
23 Centaurea solstitialis - Yellow Star Thistle
24 Chelidonium majus - Celandine
25 Chenopodium album - Lambs Quarters
26 Cicuta spp. - Water Hemlock or Cowbane
27 Claviceps spp. - Ergot
28 Conium maculatum - Poison Hemlock
29 Coronilla varia - Crown Vetch
30 Convallaria majalis - Lily of the Valley
31 Daphne spp. - Daphne
32 Datura spp. - Jimsonweed, Downy Thornapple, Devils Trumpet, Angels Trumpet
33 Delphinium spp. - Delphiniums and Larkspurs
34 Dicentra spp. - Bleeding Heart, Squirrel Corn, Dutchmans Breeches
35 Digitalis purpurea - Foxglove
36 Equisetum arvense and other spp. - Horsetail
37 Eupatorium rugosum - White Snakeroot
38 Euphorbia spp. - Poinsettia, Spurges, Snow on the Mountain
39 Fagoypyrum esculentum - Buckwheat
40 Festuca arundinacea - Tall Fescue
41 Gelsemium sempervirens - Jessamine
42 Glechoma spp. - Ground Ivy, Creeping Charlie, and Gill over the Ground
43 Halogeton glomeratus - Halogeton
44 Helleborus niger - Christmas Rose
45 Hyoscyanamus niger - Henbane
46 Hypericum perforatum - St. Johns Wort, Klamath Weed
47 Iris spp. - Irises
48 Laburnum anagyroides - Golden Chain or Laburnum
49 Lantana camara - Lantana, Red Sage, Yellow Sage, or West Indian Lantana
50 Lathyrus spp. - Sweet Pea, Tangier Pea, Everlasting Pea, Caley Pea and Singletary Pea
51 Leucothoe axillaris and Leucothoe davisiae - Drooping Leucothoe and Sierra Laurel
52 Linum usitatissimum - Flax
53 Lobelia spp. - Great Lobelia, Cardinal Flower, and Indian Tobacco
54 Lotus corniculatus - Birdsfoot Trefoil
55 Lupinus spp. - Lupine
56 Medicago sativa - Alfalfa or Lucerne
57 Metilotus alba and Melilotus officinalis - White and Yellow Sweetclover
58 Menispermum canadense - Moonseed
59 Nerium oleander - Oleander
60 Nicotiana spp. - Tobacco and Tree Tobacco
61 Onoclea sensibilis - Sensitive Fern
62 Ornithogalum umbellatum - Star of Bethlehem
63 Papaver spp. - Various Poppies including Opium Poppy
64 Phytolacca americana - Pokeweed
65 Pieris japonica and other spp. - Japanese Pieris, Mountain Fetterbrush
66 Pinus ponderosa - Ponderosa Pine
67 Podophyllum peltatum - Mayapple and Mandrake
68 Prunus spp. - Wild Cherries, Black Cherry, Bitter Cherry, Choke Cherry, Pin Cherry
69 Pteridium aquilinium - Bracken Fern
70 Quercus spp. - Oak Trees
71 Ranunculus spp. - Buttercups or Crowfoot
72 Rheum rhaponticum - Rhubarb
73 Ricinus communis - Castor Bean
74 Robinia pseudoacacia - Black Locust
75 Rumex spp. - Dock
76 Sambucus canadensis - Elderberry
77 Sanquinaria canadensis - Bloodroot
78 Saponaria spp. - Bouncing Bet and Cow Cockle
79 Senecio spp. - Senecio, Groundsels, and Ragworts
80 Solanum spp. - Common Nightshade, Black Nightshade, Horse Nettle, Buffalo Bur, Potato
81 Sorghum spp. - Sorghum or Milo, Sudan Grass, and Johnson Grass
82 Symplocarpus foetidus - Eastern Skunk Cabbage
83 Taxus cuspidata - Yew
84 Tetradymia spp. - Horsebrush
85 Toxicodendron diversiloba - Poison oak
86 Toxicodendron radicans - Poison ivy
87 Toxicodendron vernix - Poison Sumac
88 Trifolium spp. - Alsike Clover, Red Clover, White Clover
89 Triglochin maritima - Arrowgrass
90 Urtica spp. - Stinging Nettle
91 Vicia spp. - Common Vetch, Hairy Vetch, Narrow leaved Vetch, Purple Vetch and Broad Beans
92 Veratrum californicum - Corn Lily, False Hellbore
93 Wisteria spp. - Wisteria
94 Xanthium strumarium - Cocklebur
95 Zigadenus spp. - Death Camas
96 Acer rubrum - Red maple, Swamp maple, Soft maple
97 Acer saccharum - Sugar maple, Rock maple, Hard maple
98 Acer saccharinum - Silver maple, Soft maple, White maple
Plants make oils that smell delicious to insects so that they can pollinate the flowers. Some plants have their smelly bits on their bark (like myrrh), some on their fruit's skin (like lemons), some as a closed flower bud (like a clove) or basil (a leaf), seeds like chillies and roots like ginger.
See if you can plant lavender which are valuable for nighttimes baths when little gardeners need to calm down!
Insects are cool, so plant for wildlife!
Insects are awesome with 3 body parts, 3 pairs of legs and some with wings. They change shape too! There are more insects than any other living group and appear almost everywhere on earth. Crickets make violin music by rubbing their front wings and grasshoppers with their back legs against front wings! The Atlas moth measures 30cm in wingspan! We can study insects work by simply getting close to a flower and staying still. With so much nectar nearby, you seize to exist to them!
Create housing by adding rocks, wood and a wide variety of plants. Provide water and food by NOT spraying for pests! Insecticide throws the natural balance out so quickly that the 'bad' guys will increase and you'll end up with an ongoing war that is never-ending.
Be fascinated! Plants do Magic
Only a plant can make its own food.
Daytime they breathe in our polluted air process it with the help of the sun, rain and its own green stuff, turn it into sugar energy - which is their grow-food. This is called photosynthesis.
Nighttimes they breathe in oxygen and transpire extra moisture back out again.
Plants play a very important role as they are our filters. Imagine sitting in a closed car with your uncle that smokes with only 1 window down a centimetre... That's what the earth would be like without our forest-lungs. Scary thought!
Gardening in the world
Globally, we all garden differently due to climatic challenges and availability to water, etc. Garden trends also differ from continent to continent, countries and cities. France made the Lavender very en vogue again, while our own Aloe features outside as much as inside on pillowcases, art and other décor items. Teaching your children about other cultures through gardening can be a fun and educational experience - remember that next time on holiday.
Read all about Wildlife Gardens...
Winter Garden Care: To Spray or Not to Spray? / Garden Plants Perfect for Attracting Beneficial Insect Parasites and Predators / The Living World of Conifers / Spiders and Pesticides / Cold Blooded Wildlife: The Gift of Nature / Predatory Ladybirds: Nature's Solution to Aphid Control
Dear visitor, please note we strongly advise all our fellow plant lovers to get second and third opinions on current botanical names, cultivation methods and their legal status (i.e. whether they have become alien invaders) concerning owning, propagating and selling of.