Objective and Design
Planting started in the Children's Garden in the fall of 2014. The Children's Garden was designed to appeal to children and provide examples of plants and art that can be used to make a garden child friendly. Most of the plants in the garden are children favorites which includes pumpkins, colorful flowers, tasty vegetables, and tall sunflowers. Children's art is displayed on 4x4 posts throughout the garden.
There will be three genetic dwarf fruit trees located in the garden. Currently, there is a nectarine and a peach and in January, we will add an apple. These trees will stay small, but still need pruning to stay small enough so children can easily pick the fruit.
There is a lot of activity going on in the garden. The native milkweed plants support the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. The chrysanthemums support the ladybug life cycle. Birds feed on the tall sunflowers. Pollinators such as bees and butterflies feed on the flowers and blossoms. There is a sensory garden formed by cedar rounds. The sensory garden has both annuals and perennials. There are plants that are soft to the touch, agreeable to the nose, appealing to the eye, interesting to the ear and tasty to the tongue.
There are two different kinds of mulch in the garden. The bark mulch covers the perennial areas and the rice straw, which decomposes in a few months, covers the areas that contain the annuals. Both mulches conserve water and control weeds.
There is an example of a simple compost pile made from wood stakes and vinyl covered wire. Throughout the fall, as we clean up the garden, we will add green and dry plant materials. These materials will decompose over the next several months and become compost material for us to use to enrich the garden soil for next summer's planting.
The garden contains two examples of how to trellis annual plants; a pole teepee for beans and a trellis for gourds and small pumpkins. If you have a small garden space, you can use trellises to grow up and around.
Gardening is a fun family activity that provides plenty of learning possibilities.
Children's Garden Plant List
Here is a complete plant list for our Children's Garden.
The Children's Garden is waking up! We still have a ways to go but things are happening as we march toward Spring. The dwarf peach and nectarine trees are starting to bloom and the columnar apple trees are setting buds.
New activities are planned for the Children's Garden this spring. A new hopscotch has been added as well as other fun stuff.