Create an ABC Garden for Children
The first step in creating your ABC garden is to take your child into the backyard. Point out several areas where you can dig your garden and allow him to pick where it will be. This will teach him to make decisions and give him a feeling of importance.
The garden can be any size you wish. For a great showing of colorful blooms, I recommend an area approximately 6 x 18 feet. Mark off the area, remove the sod and spade the soil to a depth of about 18 inches. Prepare the soil by adding peat moss or leaf mold. Dig the humus in about a foot deep. Add a small amount of composted manure to make the soil more fertile. Allow your child to help with this. It will put him in tune with nature while digging in the earth.
When the soil is prepared, take the child to your local garden center or nursery. Browse the inventory and allow him to pick out a variety of plants that he finds attractive. Remind him that he has to choose flowers that begin with A, B or C - or other letters, perhaps those in his name - and give him several suggestions. It is advisable to choose a color theme prior to choosing your plants. Try to encourage him to buy plants that will create a blaze of color. There are a variety of plants that can be used to create an ABC garden.
A is for asters and alyssum.
B is for bellflowers, bachelor buttons, black-eyed susans and balloon flowers.
C is for coral-bells, cardinal flowers, cone flowers, coleeus and cock's comb.
Asters and alyssum are great choices for white flowers. Plant asters in groups of five to seven. Alyssum is a low-growing border with dainty flowers. These create an astounding effect when used with reds or purples.
Bellflowers are a welcome addition to an ABC garden with their delightful blue and white blooms. Bachelor buttons also add a dash of blue. Blue flowers give a sense of depth and tranquility to your garden.
Cardinal flowers, also known as lobelia, will enhance your garden with their bright red blooms. Cock's combs give a beautiful splash of red as well and are especially effective when planted with black-eyed susans. Coral-bells come in pinks and reds. The flowers are a joy to behold with their attractive blooms. Cone-flowers add a lovely touch with flowers of pink and white.
You might encourage your child to choose a few coleeus. This is a foliage plant that comes in variegated colors. Cuttings can be taken before frost and planted in pots to grow indoors over the winter. They can be added to next year's garden.
The number of plants required for your ABC garden will depend on the size of your garden. Talk to a plant specialist when purchasing your plants to determine spacing. She will advise you on the number of plants you will need for the area you have chosen. This will ensure your ABC garden is successful.
When you and your child return home, it is time to start planting. Be certain to plant the tallest flowers at the back of the garden. The low-growing or border plants will be planted at the front. Let your child dig the holes for the plants, or set the plants in the holes that you have dug, depending on his age. Once the flowers have been planted, water the garden thoroughly to avoid wilting.
When your ABC garden is complete, spread a blanket on the ground nearby and enjoy a picnic together where you can enjoy the rewards of your efforts. Your child will love viewing his ABC garden while savoring his favorite foods. Your ABC garden will create a special bond between you and your will enjoy its colorful effects for weeks during the fall.