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Former Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins suggests three garden activities for kids


By Features Reporter

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Former Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins. Picture: Garden Organic/PA
Former Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins. Picture: Garden Organic/PA

Children are being invited to get creative with little gardening projects, courtesy of former Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins.

“Start simple and quick-growing,” says Collins, head of organic horticulture at the charity Garden Organic (gardenorganic.org.uk).

“Pea-shoots, cress or lettuce leaves are perfect starting places for impatient minds. Shoots will appear in just a matter of days, with only a short wait before you have something to eat,” he explains.

Here are three projects to keep the little ones amused...

A garden pizza wheel. Picture: Garden Organic/PA
A garden pizza wheel. Picture: Garden Organic/PA

1. Pizza wheel

What you’ll need: String; 2 bamboo sticks; pebbles, shingle or sand; 4-6 types of seed to suit a pizza topping.

How to make it: Fork over a bit of ground and rake. Mark out a circle using the string and two bits of bamboo. This circle will be the base for your pizza, which can then be divided into pizza slices using pebbles, shingle or sand.

Once you have your sections, you can sow four to six types of seed or plant plugs into each one to make toppings suitable for a scrummy pizza. Seeds could include basil, tomato, sweet peppers and rocket. Look after your pizza wheel and watch it grow.

Try growing a cress caterpillar. Picture: Garden Organic/PA
Try growing a cress caterpillar. Picture: Garden Organic/PA

2. Cress caterpillar

What you’ll need: Cress seeds; cotton wool or organic compost; egg box; scissors; paint and paint brush; googly eyes and pipe cleaners.

How to make it: Cut the lid away from your egg box and cut through the middle so you have three sections to plant your seeds in. Decorate your box and add a face for your caterpillar.

Once dry, pop a cotton wool ball in each section, water and sprinkle liberally with cress seeds. Keep moist and you should see sprouts within a few days.

A butterfly pie should attract plenty of insects. Pictures: Garden Organic/PA
A butterfly pie should attract plenty of insects. Pictures: Garden Organic/PA

3. Butterfly pie

What you’ll need: Bin liner or pot; sugar; water; partially rotted plums or similar fruit; small trowel or spade.

How to make it: Dig a small hole in a border or pot, about 30cm wide by 15cm deep. Line it with a piece of bin liner and pierce with a few holes. Dissolve some sugar in water and add partially rotted fruit.

Mix together and add to the soil from the hole. Pop the mixture in the hole or pot and soon you’ll see various butterfly visitors.


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