Letting kids have free reign to be creative and not squashing their enthusiasm is important. I grew up believing I wasn’t artistic since I couldn’t draw or paint like the “talented” kids in school. When I heard the praise those kids received and heard teachers gush over their artwork and ignore what I did, I quietly packed away my crayons and gave up.
Too often we let the opinions of others affect us too much. As kids we don’t understand that there many ways to be creative-and gardening is definitely one of them!
This is why I absolutely adore my good friend Mr.s P, a 4th grade teacher who does just that. This past June for a summer school class project, she read my “Anne of Green Gardens: Miniature Gardening” book to the students and asked them to create a garden inspired by my book. As you can see the students used materials that were recycled, reused or found in nature.
The tiny gardens they made are all unique, fun and adorable. Boys and girls alike created miniature gnome homes and fairylands. I visited their classroom and they were SO proud to show me what they had done. They were also very excited to meet a real author, which made me feel good.
And guess what I did? I gushed over every single garden and told them how talented and creative they were. And they believed me, because it was true. 😉
Make a Garden with Your Kids
To create your own miniature garden, do what Mrs. P. did. Plan ahead by save containers from things like flower 6 packs,cookie or cupcake packages, or a shoe box. Visit garage sales and thrift stores to look for tiny items. Look outside at a park for pinecones, pebbles and sticks. Go through your craft box or ask your friends for craft items they don’t want. Then visit a local nursery and look for scottish or irish moss, and annual flowers in season.
For more detailed information about which plants to use, how to design a garden and suggestions for designs, check out my book, Anne of Green Gardens: Miniature Gardening. (note: most of the suggested plants in the book are for USDA zones 7-11).
p.s. if you don’t have children, feel free to borrow one from a friend or neighbor. My niece was only 10 years old when I introduced her to miniature gardening and I’ve been delighted by the gardens she makes.