mini gardeners

inspiring gardening projects for children

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Blue Christmas

blue hyacinth

Every year I gaze longingly at Christmas trees that have been decorated stylishly, usually those gracing the covers of house magaines.  And every year I set out with the intention of having an uber-stylish tree with a single colour scheme for ornaments and no tinsel (on the grounds that it must be a bit naff as it doesn’t seem to feature much in the magazine photos).

And then my daughters take over and the tree becomes a riot of colour and tinsel, and home to oddly matched decorations, most of which are placed at child height with the rest of the tree remaining bare.

So not that our house needs any more colour this Christmas, oh no, but we couldn’t resist buying some hyacinths at the local shops.  Of course we could have gone for the more festive white flowered hyacinths if we’d had a snowy theme going on.  But for a house that has a Christmas tree decorated with more colours than a rainbow, blue seemed quite fitting.

blue hyacinth

Hyacinths don’t usually flower until spring but you can buy specially prepared bulbs (known as “forced” bulbs) to flower inside over Christmas.

If, like us, you weren’t organised enough to buy and plant hyacinth bulbs a couple of months ago, you can now buy bulbs that are already growing.

If you buy these before they flower (see photos below), repotting into nice containers is a great holiday job for children.  And they should flower within a week or so of repotting – speedy gardening results for little people with short attention spans.

Plus they make great gifts.  Handy to have a few at home for those awkward moments when you realise you need an emergency gift at short notice.  Or is that just us?

Read on for instructions……

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Top Christmas Gifts for Mini Gardeners

Not finished your Christmas shopping yet and short on inspiration?  Try some of these gift ideas for your mini gardeners.

Burgon & Ball Children’s Hand Fork and Trowel

Top quality child-sized gardening tools made in the UK, £7.95 each.  We’ve tried and tested these and they’re the best children’s hand tools we’ve come across.  Rough age guide: 5 to adult (have to confess to using these myself when the girls aren’t looking).

A Packet of Seeds

The Kew Collection for Kids has a range of interesting seeds for children.  The perfect stocking filler at just £1.69.

Scarecrow Kit

Searching for something for the child who has everything?  Try one of these kits containing all you need to build your very own scarecrow.  £25 from Hen and Hammock.

Elephant Watering Can

Hard to resist a smile when watering plants with these.  Or soaking your brother/sister /friend in the garden/bath.  At £5 each will you be able to stop at just one?

Santa’s Grotto Kit

Another great stocking filler at just £3.95.  A beautifully designed little kit from Another Studio – construct your own Santa’s Grotto and plant the cress seeds to grow a mini forest garden.  We love it!

A Children’s Vegetable Garden

Fancy growing your own but not quite sure where to start?  For £34.99 Rocket Gardens will send your child 92 baby vegetable plants between May and August, suitable for filling 8 square metres of ground, raised beds or patio pots.

Paper Potter

Have endless fun making your own plant pots from recycled newspaper with one of these wooden gadgets.  £12.99 from Crocus.


Shhhhh! Insects sleeping….

insect house

….. in this bespoke insect hotel.  Constructed this afternoon in 20 minutes flat by a group of enthusiastic 7 and 8 year olds.

Hopefully it will soon be home to many resting/hibernating insects, a few of which might even be beneficial for the garden if we’re lucky.

And best of all, it didn’t cost us a penny – it’s made entirely from recycled materials.

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