Gardening Tips for Parents

by Jamie Durie
as seen on Victory Garden, The

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Jamie Durie Tips for Parents

When building a garden try to incorporate lots of color, texture and different smells to stimulate the senses. To achieve this, plant the garden with vibrant flowering plants in the colors of the rainbow, plant different shaped trees and shrubs and an herb garden will ensure there are luscious smells all around.

If you have the space, meandering pathways, stepping stones, nooks or mazes are lots of fun to hide in or explore.

Cubby houses and tree houses can invoke all sorts of imaginary play. If building a cubby from timber, try to use recycled timber that it is safe for kids.

While paving is great for adults, there's nothing like the feel of grass under little bare feet and it's great also for those days when you just want to lie down and watch the clouds roll by. If you don't want grass, perhaps have a section of your outdoor area that has some sort of soft fall rubber instead.

Wind chimes and running water will introduce peaceful sounds into the garden to heighten the senses. A feature of running water where kids can splash their hands in and safely enjoy some water play is best. Make sure any pools of water are safely enclosed.

Wherever possible introduce soft cushions or painted feature walls for that extra element of color and visual stimuli.

Sandpits or areas where kids can be active and get their hands dirty are always fun.

Planting veggies and herbs with your kids is not only a great way to get them involved but you'll be surprised how interested they'll be in eating food that they've grown themselves.

Try to plant native plants that will attract native animals into the garden. Being able to watch a butterfly lazily fluttering around the flowers, lizards sunning themselves on a rock and birds feeding on plants is a whole world of discovery for kids.