A ‘Wild Plant’ Garden for Children

Mary,  Mary quite  contrary, how does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells and cowslips all in a row.

Old nursery rhyme

Have you ever wondered what a garden of weeds would look like?  Two rows could have the tall and graceful green milkweed where caterpillars turn into butterflies and the pods open up with fluffy white strands to blow on and scatter to the wind.  Next row could be a rather scraggly-looking chicory plant, the kind that grow along most roadsides.  Its spindly stem holds two or three deep blue flowers that seem to bloom in no particular pattern up and down the stem.  Then the Queen Anne’s Lace that looks kind of like a seeded asparagus plant and spreads its bushy stems wide over the row when in full bloom with the white lacy flower petals.  They make fine bouquets and can be sprayed with hair spray and dried to last through the winter.  Mullein stands stiff as a statue and has small, seedy flowers but they would add a strength of character to your garden.

No weed garden would be complete without a row of unruly, massive burdock just waiting for the master gardener to walk by so the burrs can reach out and attach to his jeans.  It is a sticky, prickly burr that holds tight until forcefully pulled off and has sometimes been suggested as the forerunner of Velcro.  A row or two of dandelions planted just for the children to pick a flower for their mom.  Dandelions are edible, also.  And when ready to go to seed, the flowers burst into fluff that kids love to blow and watch it fly away.   

That garden would flourish and bloom and grow like none you had ever planted before.  You would never have to weed it or re-seed it or cultivate it.  There would be butterflies and bugs and worms to delight every child.

3 thoughts on “A ‘Wild Plant’ Garden for Children

Add yours

    1. A row of unruly marigold and a couple pots of zinnia were the extent of my gardening this year. One zinnia pot is in view from my kitchen sink and has been the cause of long moments of entrancement watching a variety of butterflies hunting nectar. Will post for you a picture of yesterday’s visitor on your FB messenger. Be well Ginny!
      Debbie O.


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