As has become my custom, I took pictures of some sweet ideas for children’s gardens at the United States Botanic Gardens.
Upfront, they give permission to use the senses:
Kids cranked on this old-fashioned pump to fill the pool…
….and then kids filled up watering cans….
….and watered everything in sight. ( I imagine they’ve got the most well-draining soil imaginable)….
Brightly painted details always add a touch of whimsy.
If you’re reading this and you’d like to help me install a mailbox in our school garden, I would take you up on it. I love this idea as a way to store how-to handouts for visitors (i.e. One of our beneficials is working on a one-page sheet on how to construct your own gopher cages to plant in.)
We saw an exhibit on plants that traveled because of the Perry Expedition. I’m completely intrigued by the worldwide migration of plants, and I think it’s a good hook for pulling kids in to both botany and history.
Rooftop gardens are big right now, but how fun that this one on top of a playhouse is accessible and eye-level (at least for adults?)
A common element in children’s gardens: little, green spaces to crawl into. Here: a bamboo grove of one’s own.
Another personal interest: how do plants, trees and flowers contribute to our sense of place? I know I feel more “grounded” every year in Julian as I learn my plants, note subtle changes in the succession of blooms, recognize patterns in the seasons, expect certain smells, etc.
Another angle to explore in the garden: food across cultures. This was built for smelling!
A few experiential stations were set up. At this one we made seed balls with soil, clay and wildflower seeds to toss in a garden, vacant lot, etc. The woman encouraged me to take it home, even though I live in California. I was on vacation, so I didn’t strike up a conversation about my classified work with native plants, and just politely gave it to my D.C. friend. 🙂