By Brenda Dyck.This article is about turning your children into Guerilla Gardeners. You’re probably thinking why should you even bother?
Well for one thing it will keep your kids occupied while you work in the garden. Also it will get them away from the computer, out from in front of the TV, teaches them about nature, and allows you to spend more quality time with them.
It’s important to teach them that it’s not all about mowing lawns or pulling weeds – that’s slave labor.
Instead get them involved in gardening by using nature to create and spark their imaginations.
If dinosaur toys are a big hit at your house, I’m thinking a Jurassic Garden might just fit the bill. Since many of today’s plants were around during the time of dinosaurs, it’s easy to create a dinosaur theme garden.
Ferns are one of the most ancient plant groups surviving today and were once the primary vegetation covering the earth. Some of the earliest species include the maidenhair ferns, lady ferns and autumn ferns.
During the time when the dinosaurs lived, conifers dominated the landscape. These included redwoods, yews, pines, cypress and the monkey puzzle tree. If space is limited, you could use any of the hundreds of types of dwarf conifers such as pine, spruce, fir, hemlock, and junipers.
In Jurassic times there were many ginkgo species. Today, there’s just one ginkgo species left but it comes in several different varieties including dwarf, weeping, upright, pyramidal and bush forms, and is available in a variety of foliage colors including variegated, yellow-green, dark green and light green. The leaves turn bright yellow-green in autumn.
Ginkgo Biloba is particularly resistant to insects, fungal, viral and bacterial diseases as well as to ozone and sulfur dioxide pollution, fire and even radioactive radiation (atom bomb WWII). Even serial plant killers will be able to grow this one!
No Jurassic Garden would be complete without inhabitants.
Dinosaurs are a must as children love learning to identify the different species, where they lived and what they ate.
Realistic plastic dinosaurs are available at the dollar store or if you’re feeling creative you can create your own out of modeling clay.
Horsetail, the bane of gardeners everywhere, was a main source of food for dinosaurs. If you don’t have some growing in your garden already, I will guarantee you there is a gardener somewhere who would be more than willing to give you some for free! Horsetail can be invasive, so you might want to put it in a pot to help reduce the spread. Oh yeah, and dinosaurs get thirsty too, so if you can make room for a pond all the better!
Encourage creativity by having children create their own “fossils” by casting concrete impressions of plant leaves and dinosaur footprints.
Alternatively, you could spark their imaginations by creating an archeological “dig site” for children by burying simulated fossils and bones. After all, when you’re a kid nothing beats digging in the dirt!
Cycads, (pronounced si’kads), are sometimes referred to as living fossils, because they have remained virtually unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. These exotic palm tree like plants are generally easy to grow, very hardy and are rarely bothered by pests or diseases. Cycads that grow in BC can be found at the Jurassic Park Nursery (www.jurassicplantsnursery.com) and prices run from $15 to $175.
So start on your Jurassic Garden today!
Brenda Dyck is a Fraser Valley writer AKA a Guerrilla Gardener
Guerilla Garden Adventures
Using unconventional gardening ideas,
to get maximum results from minimal resources.
Look for more columns from Brenda in the coming weeks.
Articles on the Guerilla Garden Adventures should never be construed as professional advice. Any resemblance to Master Gardeners, living or dead is purely coincidental.
I do not in any way condone or recommend following any of the advice or ideas contained on or linked in any article. These articles are based on my own Guerilla Garden Adventures (or that of some anonymous close friends), and have been considered by some people to be dangerous, immoral and/or down right illegal.
The only purpose of these articles is to share my Guerilla Garden Adventures, stories, disasters and triumphs with a warped sense of garden humor. Neither myself nor anyone I know will assume liability for any issues or legal proceedings arising (either real or imagined) from anyone who decides to embark upon their own Guerilla Gardener Adventure!