My eight year old recently planted her first garden! She’s always been an enthusiastic helper in our family garden plot, but this time it’s all her design. It all started when I started pulling out some blue pansies to make way for some more summer-y plants in our backyard planters. She asked if she could have them for her very own garden. UM YES OF COURSE. She has been reading Gardening With Emma: A Kid-to-Kid Guide this spring, and I told her to look through it to get some ideas if she was interested in expanding her garden. And she landed on a rainbow garden! I can’t even tell you how perfect this is for her. Isn’t that what’s so great about gardening?!
It would have been great fun to take her to the garden center and let her choose the plants for her rainbow garden, but our area is asking kids to stay away from retail establishments as much as possible. So, armed with her list, off I went! I knew the most important thing was hitting all the colors of the rainbow. We ended up with red snapdragons, orange marigolds, yellow calendula, green gladiolas, the aforementioned blue pansies, purple basil, and some magenta flowers that I can’t remember.
And she planted them all by herself! She learned a new vocabulary word (rootbound) and how to make sure plants could make the transition to their new home a little easier. (Interested in container gardening with kids? We’ve got great tips!)
We also planted some edibles of her choosing, including a lunch box pepper (which she named Princess Harriet Pepperbone after a character in her favorite book), the Chioggia beets she became enamored with from Emma’s book, nasturtium because she thinks they’re yummy, and her very own purple carrots.
Ambitious? Perhaps! It’s been about a week, and so far she’s been great about remembering to water. She loves playing with the hose, so that helps. She’ll be spending just about all summer in our backyard, so it’s great for her to have her own little territory. I'll be sure to check back in once the full rainbow is in bloom.