Green fingers: Ten gardening projects for the family

Family3 min read

Staying active outdoors: 10 gardening projects for the family

Outdoor activities the whole family can enjoy


Gardening can be a great way for the whole family to spend time outside and enjoy a hobby together; additionally, gardening is a great way to fit a bit of exercise in to your day. From planting home-grown produce to creating exciting magical fairy gardens the kids will love, here are 10 gardening projects to make the most of the great outdoors.

Whether you have a large backyard or a small urban space, these projects can easily be adapted to inspire a healthy and active lifestyle for your family.

Have fun in the garden

1. A magical fairy garden

With only a few materials and a whole lot of imagination you can create a small magical kingdom to attract the Tinkerbells of the world. Starting with a wooden barrel or small garden plot, gather the family together to plant lush grass and colourful flowers. For a touch of extra magic you might like to add recycled materials (toys and knick-knacks), with small signs and miniature paths to your garden.

2. Create a compost bin

Easy to use and good for your garden, a compost bin also teaches your family how to create organic green waste using kitchen scraps. While composts are usually found in the backyard, new indoor composts are an alternative for small spaces. After a few weeks of composting, grab a shovel and spread the rich nutrients into the garden.

3. Sunny sunflowers

These tall and cheerful flowers are easy to grow and a delight to watch as they start from tiny seeds and turn into a towering plant. All the family can be involved, from selecting the right sunny position, preparing the garden bed, planting the seeds and watering every day. Perhaps your sunflowers will beat the world record of 9.17 metres?

4. Herb terrarium

This small project will create an indoor edible garden perfect for your coffee table or window sill. You’ll need a large glass jar, bowl or even a glass bauble, gravel, mesh, soil and selected herbs. With a helper or two, start with gravel, add mesh, then soil and finally plant the herbs. The kids might like to decorate your terrarium with special shells and stones.

5. Backyard vegie patch

There’s nothing healthier than vegies harvested from your own backyard. With the family’s help prepare a well-drained position in the yard or create a makeshift vegie patch with a box or wheelbarrow. After selecting your vegies based on the season and your location, get your hands dirty by planting the seeds or seedlings, create crafty labels, fertilise and water. The act of creating your own vegie patch will be just as healthy for you as the vegies themselves! What’s more, always having fresh vegies on hand means you’ll always be able to create fresh and healthy recipes the whole family will love. Here are a few to get you started.

6. Painted flower pots

Brighten up your garden or balcony with this easy and cheap project that combines the fun of craft and gardening. Start with clean terracotta pots and using acrylic paints, brushes and stencils create bold and colourful patterns. Coat your beautiful new flower pots with paint sealer to prevent weather damage.

7. DIY fresh fruit

With a little backyard space or a big pot you can grow delicious, vitamin-rich fruit. Many fruit trees are too big for the urban yard, so compact fruit trees are a good option. After selecting your fruit – based on your family’s recommendations – plant in the yard, water and fertilise, and watch your fruit grow.

8. Vertical garden

The sky’s the limit with a vertical garden. To create this space-efficient garden, you can easily buy a store-bought structure or, if you have a handy family member, make one of your own. Simply fill with rich soil and plant with herbs, edible flowers and green salad ingredients.

9. Sponge-grass house

Getting kids involved with gardening and plant care is easy with a sponge-grass house, perfect for the window sill. Simply use sponges to build into a little house and pop in some grass seeds. After a few days green grass shoots will emerge. For an edible alternative, add watercress seeds to the sponge. Make sure you keep them damp.

10. Plant for the bees

Busy buzzing bees in their abundance – or an absence of – can determine the success of your garden. Teach your family how these wonderful little creatures help out in nature. Attract bees and help out with pollination by planting bee-friendly fragrant herbs and bushes like lavender, rosemary, basil, mint and cornflowers.

Unlike other family activities, these gardening projects will continue to provide joy, excitement, and a good excuse for some physical exertion all year round. As your garden grows, so too will your kids’ fascination with nature and love for getting their hands dirty and spending time outdoors. Through the simple act of gardening, the whole family can share the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and some home-grown produce, as well as enjoying spending time together.

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