mini gardeners

inspiring gardening projects for children

A Grand Finale

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miniature garden

It’s the last school gardening club session this week because the rest of term is taken up with sports days, summer fairs and general end-of-term activities.

We try to finish on a high with something fun that can be taken home – making grass heads is a favourite ending. But, inspired by a recent visit to a model village, this term’s grand finale was designing and making miniature gardens.

Top tips if you fancy trying this yourself:

1. Cost

As with all gardening club activities, we’re on a very limited budget. But this doesn’t need to be a problem if you’re prepared to spend a bit of time in advance. I collected and chopped lots of different sized twigs which were used to construct paths, fences, bunting poles and garden obelisks.

The bunting was made from scraps of fabric and cotton, taking care to avoid supergluing fingers together (it was a close shave).

A few carefully chosen low-budget accessories resulted in squeals of delight – in this case it was assorted garden charms (rake and trowel shown in the picture) from a bead shop and some small circular mirrors to use as ponds.

2. Scale

Keep everything to scale for a harmonious miniature garden. Unless you want to create some sort of sci-fi horror in which case feel free to add that oversized ladybird pebble.

3. Plants

Continuing with the keep-it-in-scale theme, dwarf slow growing plants are best. We used succulents which fit the bill nicely plus they will cope with a fair bit of drought and neglect and hence stand a fighting chance of still being alive this time next week. Succulents are also dead easy to propagate so if you’re prepared to be uber organised you could produce most of the plants for free.

To add another dimension, we sprinkled some cress seeds around our miniature gardens and these should start to sprout in the next few days.

Overall it was a big success and got the thumbs up for best gardening activity this term. Since having brought the display model home a few hours ago we’ve remodelled it already – I suspect it’ll end up like a real garden; constantly tweaked and never quite finished.  Here’s the earlier version with a path that was subsequently deemed too garish:

miniature garden

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