I was asked to do a miniature garden class with a scouting group this week. When working with children I know its best to have lots of supplies on hand.They have a great imagination and I hope I inspired them to make more miniature gardens in the future. I showed them the garden that I created above but it’s from a kit and although its lovely it’s too costly for a child to make.
My hunter and gatherer instinct kicked in and I was off to the garden this morning. I start off by gathering supplies I had on hand, things from the garden like moss, twigs and plants, rocks of different sizes, empty clear cups and tea light holders. I like to recycle things that are commonly thrown away like the tea light cups. Once they have burnt down you are left with an empty cup. Did you know you could make a fire pit out of one of those? All you do is add tiny rocks to the bottom of the cup, break bamboo skewers into tiny firewood and you are done. You can also use the single serving fruit cups as ponds by sinking them into a miniature garden. It’s all about using your imagination. Next I raided the greenhouse for shells in case anyone wanted to do a beach themed garden.
Today I started the class by having them use a foil pan which they could add drainage to by just poking a hole in the bottom. Normally I like to use shallow terracotta pots for my gardens but they not only cost way more they are heavy. I needed something to use that a six-year-old could carry easily. You can also use a rigid plant saucer for a miniature garden. If it can hold soil, it will work, even a tea-cup can be used.
The children went to the supply table where everything was laid out. It was like Christmas all over again. They couldn’t get enough. My friend who leads this group even brought grass seed for the children to plant. I gave a lesson on how to braid willow branches into arbors. I even found crushed blue rock at the dollar store that we could use to simulate water.
The children got busy and worked on their gardens. I think there must have been 22 children of all different ages working together. Yes, a bit chaotic but it was fun. Its giving them ideas to run with like how to make a bench or patio and how to keep things in scale. Some of the children brought small toys to add to their garden.
I talked about how to build a fence or create a pathway or what plants to use. I brought moss to use for lawns, Sedum plants to use as main plants, twigs to use as trees and even a few artificial flowers I had from another project.
It was a fun morning seeing them create their gardens. I am anxious to hear how the grass grows in the garden above. When I said they would have to cut the grass with tiny scissors, they laughed. Of course, maybe there is a miniature lawnmower out there.