Gardening is a great way to inculcate love and respect for nature in children. Children learn the best when they do things themselves. They discover a whole new world in the garden – a world, which has colourful flowers, different fruits and birds and bees, which come to garden. Be it the process of germination or changes in seasons, gardening helps a child learn both patience and responsibility. The knowledge of flowers and trees, the environment they need to bloom and the special care that they might need comes with this beautiful hobby.
When the schools close down for two months of summer breaks, parents are at their wit’s end as to how to keep the children busy. Enrolling the children in activity and hobby classes or sending them away to summer camps is a great way to help understand their likes and dislikes. Despite many advantages of these classes, the bottom line is that they require an equal amount of dedication on the part of the parents to take the child to the class and pick him up after it is over. Not to mention that most of these classes require a huge fee. However, there is something that parents can do with the children at home, which requires virtually no investment. This magical hobby is gardening. When you teach a child to create and nurture a plant, you encourage him to explore on his own. It is one hobby that can have the child hooked on as soon as he discovers that he has green fingers.
To get started, you just need a pot and seeds. Once the seeds germinate and the shoots appear, you could transfer it to the garden. In case there is not enough space in your house for a garden, you could use window boxes. These do not require much space as they are placed on the window sills. In case of small children, the parents can help them reach the sill for watering, etc. Who knows maybe by the end of the summer break, you could be eating vegetables from your own garden!
There are many types of gardens you could have depending on factors like space, money that you invest, etc. and the most popular is the kitchen garden. This can be started in your backyard or even in the balcony with potted plants. In a kitchen garden you could grow seasonal vegetables, which grow fast and do not require extensive nurturing. These would include herbs like mint and spinach, vegetables like tomatoes, lady finger, brinjal, etc. Children can be made in charge of watering and weeding them.
A terrace can also be converted into a garden with potted plants. You could also put enough earth in an area so as to allow plants to grow. This would require more maintenance as well as professional care.
Another form of gardening that is becoming popular these days is the butterfly gardening. In this form of gardening, the aim is to create an environment that is attractive for the butterflies. Flowering plants that can provide them nectar are planted. These gardens also have butterfly houses, water body as well as food items.