Choosing a theme
Your child’s interests will suggest a theme for a scene that he or she will enjoy creating and caring for. When the subject has been picked, it is fun for the child to do a drawing in which the items to be included are shown. Paths can be made with tiny pebbles, acreated with a small mirror or a shallow dish of water. Large pebbles or upside-down bowls can be covered with moss to form hills, or with sand to create sand dunes.
are an obvious choice for a desert or Wild West scene, ferns are a good background for a forest, small flowered climbers like Black-eyed Susan could trail up a doll’s house, and larger soft toys could live in a garden or countryside adorned with small like Wax , , Tom Thumb and Bead Plants. Consider trying to grow plants from or , which will give an extra interest to children.
Finding a suitable spot
A low, wide windowsill is ideal. If you don’t have one, place a table close to a window instead. Choose a spot away from main traffic routes and at a height that can easily be reached by children. The garden can be contained in an old tray, an old decorated washing-up bowl, an old fish tank or a large-necked jar.
- Jungle of ferns could be made with narrow paths of grit. Shape monkeys, birds and even snakes from modelling clay or plasticine.
- Desert scene might have a group of surrounded by sand and include a small lake, cowboys and cattle.
- Soft toys could be provided with their natural habitat. Rabbits could be supplied with a hill of moss containing a warren of cardboard tubes, and complete with small flowering plants.
Growing Plants In Water
Children will find it rewarding to grow plants in water. Almost any plant can be grown by this method and it avoids the need formixture. Group a selection of containers, and use some to a collection of sea-shells. The shell colours come to life when placed in water.
Make plants from cuttings rooted in water, not in soil, asmade in water are quite different from those that grow in soil. Begin by lining a chosen with aggregate which has first been washed to remove any impurities. Place on this a layer of small pebbles and some pieces of charcoal to keep the water sweet., Then continue to fill the container with aggregate until it is two-thirds full. Add water to a level of about one-third and leave for a while for the aggregate to absorb it. Then place the plants carefully on top and gently cover the with more aggregate to hold them in place. Use soluble .
Bulbs such ascan be grown very successfully in a narrow glass container, but make sure that the bulb remains above the water line and that only the roots are in the water. Grow plants from by this method too.
Glass containers of plants can be made to look even more decorative if they are lined with shells or shiny pebbles.