So enjoyed gardening with young children and their families this summer at my local school fair! Children as young as 3 years old took part and it has been one my favourite moments this year!
I was excited to set up my table early on the day with plants, seeds and water in a bucket for washing hands. I had a corner with the shade of the trees overhead in the morning although as the day went on it became hot and sunny.
Of course my dutiful wheelbarrow accompanied me for the day, carrying all the soil that the children would need for potting up the young plants and seeds; not forgetting a watering can and hand spades for little people.
I had a choice of young strawberry and lavender plants for the children to plant into bigger pots. The strawberry variety was perfect as it would fruit in summer and already had flowers as well as a few young green strawberries forming. The lavender plants were young and therefore once transplanted into bigger pots would flower and gives its characteristic scent, attracting butterflies and bees.
For the more patient children and parents, I had two types of beans and peas to plant and watch them grow over the summer months. Dwarf beans are perfect for pots as they need no support and perfect for small gardens. Peas and climbing beans require a trellis, bamboo cane or a similar support but the joy is in watching these plants grow rapidly and then harvesting the peas and beans.
Planting strawberries was very popular … no doubt the young fruits were an enticing clue as to what to expect! Some needed a little help but for those who took part, they were very keen to get their hands dirty (pun intended!).
Some children insisted on planting up both strawberry and lavender plants to take home and were very reluctant to leave the stand, I just loved their interest!
The beans and peas had their customers too and were determined to plant these and water the pots by themselves. So endearing and gives so much hope for a future generation of gardeners, doesn’t it?
Of course, must not forget those children who were not quite ready to get involved in the gardening. A little nudging this year with colouring in tomatoes and strawberries with fruit word searches as added activities might help to steer them to gardening in future …
A great summer fair gardening session with strawberries, lavender, beans and peas growing in some children’s gardens this season. So rewarding!