Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Perennial Gardening with Kids

Gardening is a great way to get kids engaged in physical activity, learning about nature, science, and engaging in family life. Vegetable gardens are a practical way to help families grow more food. Perennial gardens can be a way for families to improve the beauty of their homes with yearly returns.

Perennial plants are plants that return on a yearly basis. Some reseed themselves, others are bulbs that continue to grow, split, and create new plants. Gardeners have learned the value of perennial plants. They save money and time.

Yesterday as I was blogging about the snow receding, we had a light snow shower. The snow did not stick, but the stubborn refusal to leave has made clearing the vegetable and flower gardens challenging. If I were waiting either to plant annuals from seeds started indoors or to plant seeds outdoors, I would have a long wait. However, as the snow has retreated my stubborn perennial plants are popping up from under the ground. I have iris plants, lilies, and tulips making their way out of the ground. I suspect when the snow pile retreats from the front corner of the yard, my crocus flowers will also show themselves.

Children can also enjoy the benefit of watching, recording, and learning about perennials. Parents can make outdoor daily trips a challenge to find new growth. Pictures are a great way to record the progress of plant growth.

If you did not get bulbs in last fall, do not be disappointed. When the ground thaws plants can still be planted and they will come back in the following years. Many garden club in our area hold spring sales. This can be a chance to start a new garden or expand an old one with new plants and colors of old ones. An offer to help neighbors with their spring garden chores can result in offers of plants that need to be split to make room for new growth. Even on a small budget much can be done to add ne w plants.

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