Grow a Flower Child

P. Allen Smith's Living in the Garden HomeThere are few things as rewarding as introducing children to the joy of gardening. Once school is out, I enjoy inviting several of my friends and their children over to enjoy an afternoon of decorating and planting containers.  It’s a fun activity, and a great way for kids to learn the basics of planting and caring for their buckets of blooms. Parents and kids can enjoy the activity together and then take home the container as a keepsake of the event.

When everyone arrives, the children dive into the fun by personalizing their own containers with stencils and markers. To keep things simple, I divide the plants into three groups—flowers, foliage and fragrance—and let them choose a plant from each collection. After they fill their buckets with soil, they plant their container and label it as their own with a colorful plant name tag.

Stenciling the Container Potting up Container Gardens Finished Container Garden

Everyone gets a chance to see what others have made as they enjoy some special treats. The party food is presented in flowerpots that look as if they are filled with dirt and worms. At first parents are a little dubious, but the kids really love the confections made from crushed chocolate cookies, pudding, and gummy worms. As the celebration winds down, the children take home their containers and a plastic watering can as a keepsake of the party.

Special Party Treats:

  • Dirt and Worm Pudding
  • Dip made of peanut butter and honey.  Dippers were apples and bananas splashed with pineapple or lemon juice to keep
  • them from discoloring.
  • A platter of oatmeal cookies, sticks of string cheese, bite size Ritz crackers and goldfish crackers. 
  • A platter of gelatin Jigglers in lime, orange, and cherry flavors in flower, star, and fish shapes.
  • The terra-cotta pots can also used to hold party favors such as stencils, markers, plastic scoops and packets of easy-to-grow seeds, such as sunflowers.

For a list of materials and ideas on how to set up the party, pick up a copy of my latest book, Living in the Garden Home.

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