It is school holidays here. There is a space in my garden that needed to be tidied up. I’m living by that one garden job at a time philosophy again. So with the kids home, we decided to pretty up that space and plant a flower garden.
I was inspired the day before when I picked up my little one from day care. There was a new flower garden at the front gate. It hadn’t been finished and there were even more flowers to be planted. It looked lovely and I feel flowers add a joyous touch to any space in the garden. This is what I wanted for that neglected spot in my garden.
Choosing Our Plants
Because planting a flower garden was a spur of the moment decision, we ended up going to our local Mitre 10 to buy plants and mulch. The kids and I had fun choosing which plants we would buy. We talked about garden design, working out the height that each plant would grow to by reading the plant labels. How these would be placed in our garden bed and colour combinations. We were going to plant each variety of plant in groups of three so the bed would look great. My horticulture teacher gave me this tip.
Giving the kids a say in what plants would be chosen made the project enjoyable for them. It was hard to stop at the amount of plants we had!
Preparing Our Plants New Home
When we got home we needed to prepare the area. This took us a while. The space had been overtaken by grass and weeds. We pulled out the large weeds and took turns using the cultivator fork to get rid of the grass. My older boy was OK using the fork. But we stayed clear of Akasha (she is 8) when she used the fork. I could see one of us getting hit in the head the way she was wielding that fork! I thought that she may have trouble with it but wanted her to at least have that experience of pulling up the grass with the fork. I find a cultivator fork awesome to lift and loosen those pesky grass runners, we then shake those runners out and pop them in the wheelbarrow so they can go to the compost heap.
After the area was tidied up we used a rake to get the ground even. We used logs from a tree that had been pruned as a border. Then it was time to work out where the plants would go!
Getting Our Plants Settled In
Each plant was placed still in their pot in the spot that we wanted to plant it. Doing this makes it so much easier to move plants around and change the design. The larger plants which were the salvia and lavender plants were placed in the back row. These were chosen for their pretty purple colour. The pink dianthus were placed in the middle section. The cute portulacas and dainty alyssum which were chosen as ground covers were placed in the front. Along one edge of our flower garden were the mixed celosia and silver foliage plants which I can’t remember the name of!
Once we worked out where each plant would go in was time to put them in the ground. My boy had gone inside after preparing the ground and didn’t want to plant out which Akasha was happy about. It meant she got to plant most of the pots. I have noticed Akasha can dig planting holes too shallow which means the plant is about halfway out the top of the ground! So this time we focused on digging our holes to the depth of the pot it was in so the the plant would sit level with ground.
After each plant was in its new home we gave the new flower bed a water. The kids have learnt to water deeply at school so Akasha knew the importance of giving the plants a good drink so that the soil would get moist. We then added a layer of sugar cane mulch to keep that moisture in. Another opportunity for Akasha to share her garden knowledge that she has learnt at school with me – she told me all about why it was important to mulch mummy!
Cost of Our New Flower Garden
The lavender and salvia cost us $8 each. The other plants ranged from $2.75 to $2.50 per pot. In total the plants cost us $55.50.
The plant cost can always be reduced if you used prepared cuttings!
A giant bale of sugar cane mulch cost us $12.95, we only used half of this on our new flower garden. The rest will be used elsewhere.
Loving Those Flowers
Planting a flower garden like this gives instant results. We transformed a neglected space in the garden in an afternoon and had fun doing it. The kids were proud as punch with their new flower garden so they were happy. I was happy because that neglected area had been tidied up and the kids had spent a day outdoors. Win-win situation for all 🙂
What gardening activities do you like to do with the kids? We would love to hear them. Please share in the comments below.