Faffing in the Garden

The lovely Spotty Otter invited me to write a blog about how I was occupying myself and my daughter Verity (2) during these uncertain times of COVID -19.

If you follow my Instagram already, you will know I’m a keen gardener and huge nature lover! Thankfully Verity is following in my wellies, so during lockdown we’ve embraced the slower pace and the opportunity to spend more time outside.

Gardening is an activity that can be done anywhere, by anyone, that’s what is so lovely about it. It offers great learning opportunities for children (counting, measuring, gross and fine motor skills) as well as health benefits (mental and physical) and teaches responsibility and patience. My toddler is yet to achieve the last one! This week is the @the_rhs National Gardening Week (April 27th – May 3rd) with the focus this year being ‘Grow at Home’. Their website has dozens of activities and mini projects to introduce your children into the amazing world of plants and gardening. I would recommend this as a good starting place if this is all new to you and you need some ideas.

There are also some great monthly subscription boxes available, @mudnbloom do a great seasonal gardening and nature craft box which includes all the materials you need and full instructions.

All gardening is trial and error, even for those of us with experience! So don’t be too disheartened if your first attempts aren’t a success. I’d recommend growing sunflowers, peas or beans to start with, as they’re all pretty easy. Strawberries are fun and easy too and children love nothing more than picking and eating them straight from the plant. All of these can be grown in pots, so even if you only have limited space, you can still have a go at growing your own.

Sunflowers are one of my favourite things to grow. This year we have ten different varieties in our veggie plot. They’re so bright and cheery and from a nature perspective bees, butterflies and other insects love them, so your likely to get lots of new visitors too.

If you let your sunflowers go to seed, this brings a new wave of visitors as birds love the seeds. If you’re not sure who your visitors are, @little.robin.education make some great nature flashcards to help you identify them. Why not keep a diary of all the visitors you get, record the dates and times you see them as another fun project and also make a pair of toilet roll binoculars to watch them with.

Growing your own food is so rewarding. Planting that seed, watering it and seeing it appear is so exciting. Then nurturing it until it (hopefully) provides you with something yummy to eat, gives a real sense of achievement and children love it! Be warned it gets addictive!

I hope this has inspired you to have a go at growing something if you haven’t tried before, whether for yourself or to encourage wildlife……………Happy Growing x

Instagram: @thefaffingroom

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