Gardening with Family

Want a great way to bring multiple generations together to spend time outdoors, increase your family’s health and create lasting memories? Look no further than the backyard. Planning and maintaining a garden is the perfect multi-generational activity, and here are a few ways to get the whole clan involved.

Get Everyone on Board

Involve each family member in the planning and cultivation of your garden. Little ones can cut and paste collages of their favourite plants, flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Tweens and teens can put their knowledge of social media to use for research and inspiration. Senior family members can help draft plans and decide how best to make use of the space.

Lean on the Wisdom of Seniors

Older family members often have years of gardening experience to draw upon, so be sure to ask your own resident green thumbs for their sage advice when it comes to your plot. Senior members of the family may have wonderful stories of their own love of gardening, or garden journals to share. Involve the younger family members in this passing down of wisdom.

Work with Everyone’s Ability

Some family members may be limited in certain physical tasks, and very little kids will need more careful supervision, but the diversity of garden duties allows something for everyone to contribute to. Consider containers for little ones and seniors to tend together, as there is less labour involved. Wee ones are great at tasks like spreading mulch, cleaning up twigs, watering, raking, and digging holes for planting. Older kids and tweens can usually take on more of the demanding physical tasks, and can take over responsibility for lawn maintenance.

Create Spaces for Contemplation, Sharing, Discovery and Play

Young and old alike can enjoy a quiet bench for reading or just sitting and taking in the view. Wildlife features like bird feeders or koi ponds will delight and offer opportunity for learning. An outdoor kitchen or dining space brings the family together to break bread. Design an outdoor play kitchen, natural playground (with found materials like tree stumps for climbing and seating) or other designated space for little ones to be energetic and imaginative. This will give the kids a space to call their own, and a spot where older members can delight in the joy of childhood.

Pass Along Plants

Incorporate perennials and cuttings from other family members’ gardens. Be sure to include the kids in the story of where the plants came from. Show them how to divide and separate the plants to pass along to someone else. Create a family legacy by keeping loved ones present as you cultivate the plants they have tended.

Grow Food Together

It’s no secret that kids who grow vegetables, eat vegetables. The same is true for fruit trees and herb gardens. Plan a small vegetable plot or other food-producing garden space together based on the kinds of food your family likes to eat. Have an outdoor harvest party and feast to reap the rewards of all your hard work.

Plant a Memorial

Involve each family member in the planning and cultivation of your garden. Little ones can cut and paste collages of their favourite plants, flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Tweens and teens can put their knowledge of social media to use for research and inspiration. Senior family members can help draft plans and decide how best to make use of the space.

Remember loved ones who no longer walk beside you by planting a tree or flowering bush in their honor. Get the whole family involved in selecting and tending to this special part of the garden. Consider a planting ceremony where each family member shares a memory of this loved one while they add dirt or water to the memorial plant.

For questions, garden design assistance or looking for that perfect plant to create a memory call Mori Gardens at (905)468-7863, email your questions to info@morigardens.com or visit www.MoriGardens.com.

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