Activities & Days Out / 15 May, 2020 / Ellie Thompson
For everybody lucky enough to have an outdoor space of their own this year – especially during lockdown, this article’s for you. We’ve come up with some recommendations for you to get the most from your outdoor space, together with the best ways to transform your garden into a safe and fun place to spend time.
Why not sew some vegetable seeds with the kids? There’s low frost risk now, so you can get busy this month sewing seeds outdoors. Monty Don recommends planting the following this month:
You can build a pond from an old washing up bowl, it’s really that simple! Spring is a fabulous time to create a new pond, as you’ll be able to watch it transform over the summer months. The kids will enjoy watching pond skaters, water lice, freshwater shrimps, and maybe even a few dragonflies. It’ll be a guaranteed hot spot for any lurking local frogs and toads, and you might even see a bird having a bath.
If you’re thinking about introducing a pond into your back garden, you’ve got to be super-cautious when it comes to making sure it’s safe for the kids. Think through where you’ll position your it, and ensure you look into fencing around the pond, and using mesh covers across the top.
This is always a fantastic thing to do – and it’ll benefit the kids as well as the minibeasts! Look at plants that have interesting smells, textures and even tastes for your garden’s kid-friendly sensory patch. Here’s some fantastic advice from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.
Flowers have bright, bold colours to attract birds and insects to them for pollination and seed dispersal, but they are wonderful for humans to look at too! Choose bold leaved and architectural plants, perhaps mulched with different coloured items such as slate, pebbles or shells. Steer clear of recycled coloured glass mulches.
There are so many delicious plants that it’s difficult to choose just a few. Although many of these are used in our cooking, please remember that some children could have allergies to any one of the following:
The aromas given off by flowers are wonderful to enjoy, but the smells have a purpose too. Plant scents attract insects to the flowers for pollination and some smelly leaves deter insects from eating them.
Sit in your garden and listen to all the sounds of nature around you; the bees buzzing, the birds singing, the sounds of the wind rustling through grasses and plants. Add a water feature or wind chimes to enhance the sounds in your garden.
Leaves vary between plants, from rough to smooth, furry to spiky. Every texture has a purpose; many plants that are nice to feel have adapted to a specific natural environment in some way. These can be succulents or have hairy leaves to cope with dry conditions. Here are a few plants that are nice to touch.
Consider if spiky plants are suitable for your school garden and pupils before using them.
Of course, the garden is not all about the kids. You’ll want to make the most of it too. We’re thinking al fresco dining after the kids are bed – a date night in the garden, and why not!? Here are some suggestions to add that extra special touch.
Pink Nina, East London Parasols
Golf Ball Lamp, Ultra LEDs
Chair + Footstool, Homebase
Bistro Set Wheatgrass, Hartman Berkeley
LED Festoon String, Ultra LEDs
2 Piece Lantern Set in Silver, Wayfair
Garden Shelter, VonHaus
Vintage Lamp Festoon String, Ultra LEDs