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Involve your Kids with These Child Inspired Landscaping Themes

Trying to convince your children to help with the gardening can be a chore on a good day, so why not making it easier by planting a landscape that is more interesting to them. If your child plays sports, consider planting flowerbeds in their team colors. It is a great way to show your support and will make the flowers more special.

However, if you want to be a little more creative, consider planting one of the following themes. No matter which theme you choose, do not forget to have the kids help by creating clay accents and painted signs. Your child's colorings or drawings can also be used to decorate planters or other objects with a little decoupage and clear acrylic spray. The best thing about these types of gardens is that it allows you to spend time with your children while getting a necessary chore out of the way.

Alphabet:

An alphabet garden is a great way to involve your children while teaching them at the same time. Make sure that you have enough space for twenty-six different plants before getting started. Then, find a plant that represents each letter of the alphabet. You can start with asters, bellflowers, coneflowers, and daisies and continue all the way down until you hit xylosmas, yuccas, and zinnias.

Cowboy or Wild West:

Imagine a garden that is littered with wagon wheels, cowboy boots, covered wagons, and maybe even a few arrows or a dream catcher. A cowboy-themed garden is not as centered around the plants as other themes, but more around the decorations. True, you can use plants such as the Texas Star, Texas Bluebonnets or the infamous yellow rose. You might also want to plant native plants or ones commonly used for food and medicine in the 1800s such as corn, beans, squash, chives, wild lettuce, wild strawberries, and sunflowers. However, you will need space for a campfire and surround the entire thing with split rail fencing. You might also want to create a wanted poster with your child's picture and some barbed wire.

Crayon:

Similar to the alphabet garden, a crayon garden becomes a teaching garden for younger kids. It also creates an array of colorful plants and can be as interactive as well. Kids can paint rock borders around the plants and colorful signs for each color. You can also add garden sculptures of items that are the same color. In your red area, you could have a metal fire truck, a clay ladybug, a stop sign, or a statue of a red fox. You could also plant edible colors such as cherries, tomatoes, chili peppers, etc. If you cannot find an object, have your child create one out of clay or color a picture that can then be glued onto a wood base and sealed.

Fairy Tale:

If you want to instill a love of reading, consider a garden with a fairy tale theme. You probably already have beans for Jack and the Bean Stalk, peas for Princess and the Pea, and pumpkins for Cinderella. You can also go deeper into the stories and plant an apple tree for Snow White, tulips and water lilies for Thumbelina and strawberries for Little Red Riding Hood. You could also find plants that are named after fairy tales such as the pink butterfly plant (Asclepias incarnata 'Cinderella') or dwarf Balsam Impatiens (Cotoneaster apiculatus 'Tom Thumb'). Then, there are plants that have been named after fairy tale elements such as 'Forest Prince' serviceberry, (Amelanchier x grandiflora), dragon flowers (Physostegia virginiana), and the Magic Carpet Spiraea (Spiraea japonica).

Nursery Rhymes:

Another literature-based theme is one centered on nursery rhymes. Of course, you must start by planting a few Canterbury bells for the infamously contrary gardener, Mary, and then decorate them with a few shells. You should also plant a few peppers and pumpkins for the two Peters-Peter Piper and Peter, the pumpkin eater-and a plum tree for little Jack Horner. From there, you could plant the herbs lavender and dill mentioned in the rhyme Lavender Blue and posies for Ring around the Rosie. Mulberry bushes are another favorite, mentioned in Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and Pop Goes the Weasel. You can also consider plants such as Little Miss Muffet daisies and fairy tale pink daylilies. But do not stop with plants, there are a ton of decorations you can add. Put a plastic spider on your waterspout for Eensy Weensy Spider, a statue of Humpty Dumpty on your wall, and a cow over any moon bushes (Datura meteloides) that you have.

Space:

Space is not only the “final frontier” it is also a great landscaping theme. Star with a few sun plants like the ever popular sunflower or the Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun' (Rudbeckia hirta). Then, add a couple of moon plants such as the moon vine (Ipomoea alba) and the previously mentioned moon bush (Datura meteloides). Of course, you cannot have a moon without a few star plants. Some plants are star shaped such as the Lanai lavender star verbena (Verbena 'Lanai') and the royal star magnolia (Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star') and the star jasmine (Jasminum nitidum). While others plants simply have star in their name such as the Climbing Crimson Star Clematis (Clematis x 'Crimson Star') starburst ice plant (Delosperma floribundum 'Starburst'), and starlight carnation (Dianthus plumaris x 'Starlight'). If you are feeling adventurous, consider adding the Magnolia 'Star Wars'.

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