Calming down and being hands on with nature in the garden…

I have always been an outdoorsy person. I love walking in the woods or watching the sea. J follows me in this. He is always happiest when outdoors.

We have a reasonable size garden. Big enough for a slide and swing, patch of grass and a patio area for a table, playhouse and sandpit. But I also want J to explore nature, not just toys.

This year I’ve made more effort with the ‘growing things’ side of gardening. I want J to be able to be hands on and get involved so choose plants carefully. This year we have:

  • Garlic
  • Mangetouts
  • Peas
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberry bush
  • Carrots

These are in tubs as the ground isn’t too great and I don’t have time/patience to sort it out so pots and tubs were easiest.

These are all plants J can help water and watch grow…then help eat (I can live in hope). But as you all know, toddlers and preschoolers don’t ‘do’ patience and growing fruit and vegetables doesn’t happen over night.

So, for J to be able to explore, touch and taste straight away, we have a sensory area. This part is at ground level as the herbs are quite easy to grow and they spread. We have:

  • Rosemary
  • Chives
  • Mint
  • Lemon balm

I let J explore pretty freely. He can dig, pull bits off and have a play. He loves to smell them all. I get the added bonus of being to cut bits off to use for cooking so it’s a win-win.

It was very expensive to set up. The rosemary and mint were from the supermarket as you can buy ready grown herbs and I just planted them. In fact the rosemary was in reduced section as was dying (as you can see in the photo above, it’s very much alive and is now rather big).

The pots I got from car boot sales, family and discount/warehouse stores. I also got the compost/mud from discount/warehouse stores too. If you don’t have the time (or can’t be bothered with hassle) of growing from seeds then you can buy partially grown vegetables and fruits from most garden centres. That way you just plant them and care for them (read the planting guidance you get with it though).

The reason I do all this is to balance the technology led lifestyle J leads. He watches Tv and has (limited) IPad time. He has so many toys and is always a busy boy but he also needs that outdoor time with lots of space and ‘real things’ to explore.

Also, nature gives children chance to learn about caring for something, the process of growth and change and can be calming. There’s no pressure with nature. You don’t have to talk, you don’t have to listen, you can’t ‘get it wrong’. It’s emotionally a way to be free!

For those who don’t have a garden there is a lot you can do in local parks or just random woodlands nearby. There is group called ‘Nature Detectives’ run by the Woodland Trust who have great ideas and print outs you can use to explore nature when out and about.

What are you growing in your garden? Have you got any hints or tips? Don’t forget to like or comment so I know you’re out there 🌻

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Steph Liao says:

    I never do any gardening, but my mom loves it and I know she finds it very therapeutic. And it’s very cute to get your son involved!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mummyest2014 says:

      Thanks Steph, he really enjoys it so hoping he’ll keep doing it as he gets older 🙂


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