GBDW – Gardening with Kids Wrapup

– Posted in: Garden Design

Whether you’ve been gardening for most of your years or have come to it somewhat later in life, you likely have some memory of a garden-related experience from childhood. It may be of grueling summer afternoons spent weeding or mowing, or it may be more pleasant recollections of playing by a garden pond by the pond water lilies, feasting on juicy-ripe berries, or experiencing the magic of watching seeds sprout. Either way, it seems that spending even a little time in a garden as a child has a way of changing a person – generally for the better.

We had quite a few participants this month, so without further delay, here’s a rundown of posts we have links for. If you didn’t submit a link before, or if you decide to post later on this topic, feel free to leave us a link below so others can find you!

Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop – Kids in the Garden (Nan at Gardening Gone Wild): Kick-off post for this month’s topic.

Azalea Earth Day (Frances at Faire Garden): “Going green” in the garden isn’t just politically correct: it’s one important way we can help to protect the planet for the younger generations.

Apprentice Gardeners (Colleen at In the Garden Online): Giving kids a space of their own, as Colleen has done for her two “garden girls,” is a great way to get them off to a great start in their gardening career.

Three Gardening Books for Children (Kathy at Cold Climate Gardening): Kathy reviews a few of her favorite books that provide solid, accessible information for kids that take gardening seriously. Check out the comments too, to find other suggestions from her readers.

Why Kids Belong in the Garden (Eleanor at OutofDoors): Eleanor talks about why gardening experience is so important for little ones, as well as some of her favorite plants, projects, and books for young gardeners.

Shell Containers (Kerry at This step-by-step project would be fun for kids of all ages!

Gardening is Childsplay (Ilona at Ilona’s Garden): Ilona shares her thoughts on gardening with kids.

Outdoor Kid Space Play Yard (Michelle at Garden Porn): The renovation of a steeply sloping property provides a perfect opportunity to create a play space for the family’s children.

Harry Potter Garden (Jim at Art of Gardening): You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy reading about this magical garden created by Jim and his daughter.

Might I Have a Bit of Earth? (Chookie at Chookie’s Backyard): A dozen do’s and dont’s to help you and your kids have more fun in the garden.

Ten Tips for Planning a Children’s Garden (HG at Heirloom Gardener): HG’s children are an integral part of her garden, so she often writes about their activities and play spaces on her blog. “Ten Tips” is just one of the many posts on the topic; here’s a new post, where her children share their insights on their favorite parts of gardening.

Seeds (Jeannie at Garden Sprouts): Check out these fun seed-related projects for kids – and some more here.

Nancy J. Ondra
Nan gardens on 4 acres in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In the firm belief that every garden ought to have a pretentious-sounding (or at least pretentious-looking) name, she refers to her home grounds as "Hayefield." There, she experiments with a wide variety of plants and planting styles, from cottage gardens and color-based borders to managed meadows, naturalistic plantings, and veggies--all under the watchful eyes of her two pet alpacas, Daniel and Duncan.
Nancy J. Ondra

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3 comments… add one

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Frances December 31, 2008, 7:45 am

Hi Nan, this was a fun topic and the posts will be referred to again and again by those of us with kids in our lives that have taken up an interest in gardening. I will especially check out Kathy’s list of books for a budding earth digger in our family!

Glad you enjoyed it, Frances. We certainly got a variety of angles this month, as well as some new participants, which is great.

LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD December 31, 2008, 12:05 pm

I love this design feature on your blog and wonder how and when you post what the topic will be each month and if there are any “rules” for participating … thanks.

Welcome to GGW, Linda! I post a new topic on the first of each month and a wrap-up post on the last day of each month. If a topic interests you, you can write a post relating to it and leave a link on the kick-off post; then I collect them into a summary post, such as this one. Tomorrow’s post will also include a list of all the topics to date, in case you want to blog about something we already covered. Those archived posts still get lots of visitors, so it’s never too late to add a link. I hope you’ll join us!

Craig @ Ellis Hollow January 3, 2009, 2:05 pm

Hi Nan:

Sorry I never got around to doing a post for this month’s design workshop. But for those who are interested in involving children and youth in gardening — especially educators and home-schoolers as well gardeners — I’d like to plug two websites that I work on.

Cornell Garden-Based Learning Program ( – Features many activities and curriculums with a philosophy of empowering children and youth by giving them a real stake in the garden.

The Bulb Project ( – Features creative projects to help educators share the joys of growing flower bulbs with children and youth, and use bulbs to help teach science, art, history and other subjects. You can share your experiences and idea through the site’s blog.

Thanks again for your considerable efforts managing the GBDWs in 2008. It’s one of my favorite blog activities. Looking forward to more in 2009.

These are great, Craig; I’m glad you shared them. And thanks to you for taking part in the workshops. It’s fun to keep them going when we get such great responses. I imagine that we’ll keep them going as long as there’s interest!

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