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Post #1. Design a Garden - with KIDS!

Updated: Feb 12, 2023

and so it begins...

Come along with me on my journey to write a book (working title: "Growing Gardeners") that will inspire and encourage children to design their own gardens and outdoor spaces.


There are many resources out there about designing a child-friendly garden, gardens for children and experiential gardens for young students. This is NOT that.


This blog tracks my journey of finding ways to inspire and encourage children to design their own gardens (real or imagined) while also learning about Landscape Design and Landscape Architecture.


 

I remember as a young child drawing house plans with my dad and younger brother.

It was always fun and I remember my imagination running wild with thoughts of hidden passageways, crazy pools, secret doors and special codes to unlock doors.


My father encouraged us to use our imagination, to design without limits and to reach for the stars. It wasn't about what was and was not possible or affordable. There was no "budget" (which may have contributed to my current views on money matters but that's a DIFFERENT book).


Photo Credit (Below): https://unsplash.com/photos/is0zzmKunts?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditShareLink



You might think I'm crazy (that's okay. I kinda am.)

but I am EXCITED at the idea that the wonderful world of Garden Planning, Landscape Design and Landscape Architecture can be discovered and explored at an early age.


Where I'm at: THE BEGINNING...or even before that.


Research phase.

I am slowly discovering what is currently out there that has already been published.

In my opinion - it doesn't seem to be a lot.


One excellent resource I have found is published online by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) which you can find here for FREE: ASLA Activity Book for Kids


Though this is a most EXCELLENT book, it does not offer the concepts and ideas I would like to explore in the book I have planned. Some of the ideas, lessons and concepts I have in mind include:

  • TREASURE HUNT aka INVENTORY & ANALYSIS (what does your property/garden look like? what shape is it? how big is it? where does the sun touch the ground? where is there shade? where are the downspouts? are there any puddles? do you have power outlets outside? etc.)

  • GET IT ON PAPER (how do you take a photo and put it on paper? how do you take measurements and put it on graph paper? how do you draw benches, basketball nets, picnic tables, sandboxes or ponds in plan view?...what IS plan view? etc.)

  • BASIC DESIGN PATTERNS (how does a diagonal pattern look different than a circular one? what are some geometrical shapes that can be used? what are the different types of lines?, etc.)

  • BUBBLE DIAGRAMS (where is the best place for a treehouse? a slide? a pool? where do paths need to go from point A-B? what do you want to do in the garden? ill you be growing food? attracting birds, bees & butterflies? etc.)

  • GARDEN STYLES & THEMES (what will the guiding idea for the garden be? Star Wars? The dog park? a veggie tray? a sandwich? favourite colours? a Google Map? the colur wheel? etc.)

  • PLANTS IN THE GARDEN and PLANTING PLANS - arguably my favourite topic (types of foliage, different bloom types and times, leaf colour, seasonal changes, form (silhouette) of different plants, different types of plants, where to buy them, how big do different plants get over time? layering and grouping plants etc.)

  • STUFF IN THE GARDEN aka GARDEN STRUCTURES (gazebos, sheds, tree houses, birdhouses, sandboxes, birdbaths, planters/pots, arbours, monkey bars, greenhouses, trellises, sculptures, etc.)

  • MOOD BOARDS & PLANT PALETTES - because who doesn't love making a collage?! (textures, colours, materials, magazine clipping, photographs, etc.)

  • AND MORE!


Are you teaching garden design to your students?

Are you a parent teaching the concepts to your child(ren)?

I want to hear from YOU! Get in touch!

I'd love to hear your stories, struggles, lessons and explorations in this area.

Shoot me an email at hmjerrard@gmail.com and be sure to subscribe and follow this Blog here:


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