Week 2, 1st April.  Activity - Gardening

Activities:

1).  If you can, get outside!  From a large garden to a tiny yard, there is always something that can be done.  Many seeds can be sprinkled or sown directly where you want them to flower, and now is the time to do that.  In a very short time you can have your favourite colours around you.  Or, if you're not a 'flower' person, how about growing some vegetables?  Carrots are particularly easy, and can be done in a tub, as can many fruits, beans etc.

2). Or, stay inside!  Seedlings can germinate very easily and quickly (within a day or two of planting in some cases). Growing something from seed is very therapeutic.  It is not just a calming activity, but increases a sense of purpose and well being which comes from the act of growing and nurturing the plants.  Some seeds can then be thinned out and planted in the garden  or;

3). Make a window box.  This could either be for an inside or external window ledge.  Again, choose flowers that are bright and cheerful.  The seeds can be planted directly in the position they are to flower and will often make a huge difference to someone's mood.  This is especially important at the moment when isolation can be very depressing even to those without added needs.

4). Make a sensory garden (indoor or outdoor).  For example, lavender will have a relaxing and soothing scent, as do many easy to grow plants.  Sweet peas in particular are often strong scented, and have the benefit of being grown outdoors, yet thrive on being picked so there will be plenty of bunches of them indoors throughout the summer.  Other sensory gardens could include feathery or silky grasses for touch.

5).  Make a herb garden.  Anything from a few plants on the kitchen window sill to a large area set aside in the garden.  Herbs grow quickly, have many uses, and be cut and used as required.  Mint grows very easily and with just hot water added makes a relaxing drink which is very good to settle your stomach (also helps sleep if taken at night, as no caffeine and aids digestion).

Discussion:

Do you prefer to grow fruit, flowers or vegetables?  Why?

What are your favourite flowers?  

What flowers did you have at your wedding in a bouquet or buttonholes?

Think about the different types of flowers you would see on a country walk.  How would these change with the seasons?  Which seasons do you prefer?  How do flowers show changing seasons?  E.g. snowdrop to crocus to daffodil etc.  Which plants thrive in winter?

Tips:

Think about the type of garden area you have before you start.  A plain wall can be brightened up with sunflowers or climbing plants, such as morning glory or sweet peas.

If you're really not a gardener and don't want the fuss of planting, then think about getting a pack of wildflower seeds.  You literally throw these out and wherever they land they'll grow,  They usually have the final appearance of an 'English flower meadow', full of daisies, poppies etc. But can be really pretty.

If you're transferring plants to an outside window box or hanging basket, consider using trailing plants, such as trailing lobelia, (lovely white, blue and purple flowers). These will then cascade down the side of the basket as they grow.

Don't forget to mark different areas of seeds by using a plastic marker to write on what they are (an ice lolly stick is just as good).

Finally, don't worry about not having what you need and not being able to go and buy it at the moment. Seeds can be grown in egg boxes, cake cases (but put them in the cake tins first or you'll make a right mess!), or even cut down milk cartons, plastic bottles, etc.

AND IF YOU HAVE NO SEEDS, MESSAGE ME.  I will happily post some out to you as I'm currently planting out some trays to keep my daughter occupied whilst she is off school and I have plenty spare.

Happy planting!  I'd love to see some results and I hope the flowers make you smile.

Pam x