The garden is positively sighing. Easter weekend’s sunshine was perfect for eating al fresco and getting stuck in to some family gardening, and the best bit is, well, I actually have my own garden at last!
A New Garden
There’s nothing like having your own garden.
For 11 years we’ve lived in rented accommodation, moving every 2 or 3 years with Wild Daddy’s job. In that time we’ve done some great kids gardening projects, like Caroline’s welly herb planters and the recycled wildflower wheelbarrow. I’ve also dragged up to 73 pots from garden to garden, hoping that one day we’d settle in one place!
In March we finally bought our own home, fulfilling our need to be nearer the excellent RVI hospital for Caroline’s ongoing cancer monitoring, to provide her with security, stability and sanity as she progresses her healing further into remission.
We’re still 100s of miles from family and friends but we’ve adopted Northumberland in the process where we’re building a lovely community, and there’s now space to have visitors to stay too (orderly queues please!)
My garden has always been my sanctuary and this one, even by my standards, is huge!
‘The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth, one is closer to God in a garden, than anywhere else on earth.’
There’s a large lawn for outdoor games and a sheltered patio for outdoor eating. There’s a giant veg patch-verging-on-allotment for outdoor growing, two sheds and a greenhouse for outdoor storage and masses of space for wildflower areas, a wildlife pond and a climbing frame. There’s even a (huge) beech hedge to keep Wild Daddy busy in August.
It’s a fairly mature garden though there aren’t any mature trees, with great potential for making it our own and doing lots of kids garden activities with Caroline and her friends. We’ve got so many plans!
National Children’s Gardening Week (see below) is coming up in May so why not join us on our gardening journey, and find some project to try with your children in the garden in the coming weeks?
Children’s Gardening Projects
Caroline and I have had endless fun planning projects for the new garden and we’ve teamed up with some fab people to share reviews and ideas with you over the summer. There’ll be lots of posts on all these subjects coming soon.
Caroline has spent weeks planning a gardening and nature club with her friends, each of whom has a profile and club name with ideas and plans for what they are going to grow and learn about. Wow! The first meeting is tonight…
We’re also going to: –
- dig a wildlife pond – with a pond pump from The Garden Site and pond liner from Maidenhead Aquatics and handy guides from RHS Gardening for Kids, Garden Organic (as you’ll know I’m a big organics fan), and The Wildlife Trusts. We can’t wait to get started on this though Wild Daddy is currently refusing our preferred pond location!
- grow fruit and veg – we’re hoping to work with Seed Pantry or Rocket Gardens on this but we’ve already planted some tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse and our seed potatoes are ready to go!
- plant wildflowers to attract insects and pollinators – with a Bee Bomb to review as well as native bee-friendly seeds from Grow Wild (we missed their free seeds this year but we’ve discovered an old pack in the shed!) and Friends of the Earth who’s Bee Saver Kit you can obtain in exchange for a donation
- erect a wooden climbing frame – from Dunster House
- review an outdoor activity box from Mud and Bloom
It’s going to be a busy summer! Make sure you pop back regularly to check for new posts, reviews and giveaways.
National Children’s Gardening Week 25 May to 02 June
This is an annual event set up to encourage and inspire families and children to get into the garden more. You can read more on their website and try some of my 25 suggestions to get children enjoying the garden.
Green Fingered George is a teenage gardening inspiration. Check out the gardening post he wrote for Kids of the Wild here.
Children with Cancer UK BBC Garden 13 to 16 June
We help promote childhood cancer awareness with a number of charities since Caroline’s diagnosis, and this year Children with Cancer UK, who use Caroline’s cancer story with her teddy, Otto the Bear, have a garden at BBC Gardener’s World Live at Birmingham’s NEC in June. We’re hoping to go down and will definitely post about it if we make it.
If all this doesn’t inspire you to try some gardening projects with your children, you can at least read about it on the blog, as we get started at Kids of the Wild!
I look forward to you joining us ‘in the garden’ over the coming months and please share any gardening ideas, suggestions or activities you do with your children in the comments below or on Facebook. I’ll also be posting lots of photos over on Instagram and Twitter.
Wild wishes for some groovy gardening with your children!