Design a Garden Map: an activity for children of all ages. It has been said that,
“Gardens are a form of autobiography” (Sydney Eddison, Horticulture magazine, August/September 1993).
“Laying out grounds… may be considered as a liberal art, in some sort like poetry and painting…. it is to assist Nature in moving the affections… the affections of those who have the deepest perception of the beauty of Nature….” (William Wordsworth, letter to George Beaumont, 1805 October 17th).
You and your children can design a garden map of your dreams, your garden plan for the upcoming year (in a yard, on a roof, or in containers on a porch), or a replica of the Garden of Eden. This activity will allow the creativity, artistry, and individuality of your children to shine through as they become garden designers.
- Read the story of creation in Genesis or chapter two in the The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos. Talk about the fun God must have had in designing the Garden of Eden. Talk about all the different trees, flowers, and plants that may have been in the garden.
- Throughout the week, memorize Genesis 2:8, “The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.”
- With the pencil, have your child trace a basic design of a garden onto the card stock or card board box, making sure to allow room to “walk” in between rows.
- Look through a magazine or seed catalog. As together you find the most delicious looking fruits and vegetables and the most beautiful flowers, have your little gardener cut out the pictures. (If designing the Garden of Eden, don’t forget to include the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil). Talk about the tremendous impact Adam and Eve had when they decided to eat the fruit.
- Arrange the pictures on the cardstock or a piece of a cardboard box. Make sure to mix together fruits, vegetables, flowers, and shrubs. Consider designing themes in your garden, such as a pizza garden (tomatoes, basil, garlic, onions, oregano, etc.), Asian (bok or pak choi, mustard greens, cilantro, mint), a salad, soup, or salsa garden. Encourage planting a rainbow to educate on adequate nutrition (this will be discussed more in-depth at a later time). Consider also adding a space to relax and read, maybe adding space for a blanket, bench, or rock.
- Once the garden is designed, begin gluing the pictures to the cardstock, butcher block paper, or piece of cardboard box to make your garden map. See examples below.
- Take advantage of the time spent with your child to talk about where they see themselves living when they grow up. Will they live in an apartment in a large city, a suburb, a small town, or will they own 100 acres in rural farmlands? Encourage their imagination to run wild.
- Take pictures and tag #theabundantgarden on Instagram to share your fun and for an opportunity to be featured @theabundantgarden.
A theme map
A 3D garden map