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The Thrill of Creative Gardening

May 21, 2012 at



After a relatively mild winter, spring and summer in Columbus is quickly on its way. I love the this time of year: the warmer weather, the baby animals, lighter clothes and jackets and, of course, the green sprouts of new plants. While my thumb is only somewhat green, I do love to garden! Being able to grow and harvest my own vegetables and flowers just brings me so much joy. I also think gardening is a great family activity; between the planting, weeding, composting, mulching, watering, and harvesting there is plenty for adults and children to do together. And who doesn’t love the excitement and anticipation of checking the plants daily to watch them pop up out of the ground and turn into beautiful flowers or tasty food?

One of the things I love about gardening is it’s so versatile; anyone can grow a garden. All you need is some dirt, seeds, water, sunlight and voila! The plants do the rest on their own. Even if you have a tiny yard, porch, patio, or even just a windowsill, you can still grow a garden with just a little extra planning and creativity. If you’ve never tried to grow a garden before, I encourage you and your family to give it a try. Stop by your local garden center (I like Straders and Oakland Park Nursery, but I also often shop at Home Depot or Lowe’s) and ask the nursery staff for their recommendations based on your gardening availability. I’ve found that most peppers, tomatoes, herbs, bulb flowers, wildflowers, and perennials are fairly easy to grow, even in pots. For those of you who are more experienced gardeners, I encourage you to try growing something new this year. I think I’m finally going to try my hand at some beans and potatoes, which I’m really excited about. If you have any helpful tips, please let me know.

If you’re really pressed for space, you can even try guerrilla gardening with projects such as seed bombs. We had a lot of fun creating seed bombs during the March 1st Saturdays. This great project was led by 1st Saturdays Instructor Renee Zamora. Here's directions to create your own seed bombs.

There are also many blogs and websites devoted to gardening, some of which I’ve listed here for you to check out:
For creative gardening and unique containers:
http://tipnut.com/creative-container-gardening-tips-ideas/
http://www.avant-gardening.com/
http://www.littlecountryvillage.com/Creative_Gardening_Ideas_-_Garden_Paradise.shtml
http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/creative-container-garden-ideas.htm

Kid-friendly gardening tips to help everyone in your family get involved:
http://fun.familyeducation.com/outdoor-activities/earth-day/29440.html
http://www.hgtv.com/gardening-club-seed-tape/package/index.html
http://family-fun.kaboose.com/gardening-ages-stages.html

I wish you success in your gardening ventures, and I hope your family enjoys it as much as I do! If you’d like to share your garden stories or photos with us, please send them to Dayna.Jalkanen@cmaohio.org.

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Dayna Jalkanen, Educator for Family Programs

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