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Search Results for: Children's gardens and programs | Search the catalog for: Children's gardens and programs

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Garden design, Children's gardens and programs

I am interested in information about gardening with children and gardens designed for children. Can you recommend some relevant web sites and articles?


Below are some useful web sites about children's gardens. They include actual children's garden web sites which may have garden maps or plans as well as information about how the garden was designed, and horticulture sites with information about gardening with children.

The Edible Schoolyard Project

Magnuson Park Children's Garden


The Helen & Peter Bing Children's Garden

Children's Garden at the Morton Arboretum

The Midway Plaisance Children's Garden

Ithaca Children's Garden

Gardening With Children

Each year, the National Children & Youth Garden Symposium, takes place at varying locations.

You may wish to visit the Miller Library and search the Garden Literature Index, which has an article about past years' symposia (see abstract here: 2006 Youth Garden Symposium. Robbins, Heather American Gardener; Sep/Oct2006, Vol. 85 Issue 5, p12-15 The article presents the highlights of the 2006 annual American Horticultural Society's National Children & Youth Garden Symposium held in Saint Louis, Missouri. It cites the implications of the high number of participants in the event. The issues discussed at the educational sessions in the symposium include building children's gardens and community gardening. Attendees were given the opportunity to explore the Missouri Botanical Garden, the event's host garden.)

Below is just a sampling of other articles from the "children's gardens" search results:

1. Gardening on the curriculum? Why not? By: West, Cleve. Garden, Jan2007, Vol. 132 Issue 1, p13-13, 1/2p; (AN 23649207)

2. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. By: Day, Susan. Birds & Blooms, Oct/Nov2006, Vol. 12 Issue 5, p54-55, 2p, 1 map, 4c; (AN 22575160)

3. SCAPE'S GARDEN OF DISCOVERY. HD: Hospital Development, Mar2006, Vol. 37 Issue 3, p6-6, 1/4p; (AN 20303088)

4. The Best Backyard In The World. By: McGuire, Leslie. Landscape Architect & Specifier News, Mar2006, Vol. 22 Issue 3, p58-65, 8p, 1 map, 8c; (AN 20532564)

5. THE ACTIVITY MATRIX. Landscape Architect & Specifier News, Mar2006, Vol. 22 Issue 3, p60-63, 4p, 8c; (AN 20532565)

6. Children's Garden Consultants: A New Model of Engaging Youth to Inform Garden Design and Programming. By: Lekies, Kristi S.; Eames-Sheavly, Marcia; Wong, Kimberly J.; Ceccarini, Anne. HortTechnology, Jan-Mar2006, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p139-142, 4p, 2 charts; (AN 20620955)

7. Duke Garden. By: Stewart, Joann. Daylily Journal, Winter2005, Vol. 60 Issue 4, p414-415, 2p, 4c; (AN 19479979)

8. Cultivating gardeners. By: Benson, Sally D.. American Nurseryman, 9/1/2005, Vol. 202 Issue 5, p4-4, 2/3p; (AN 18031480)

9. Fall for Fun: New Children's Garden. By: Sherman, Marilyn. Chicagoland Gardening, Sep/Oct2005, Vol. 11 Issue 5, p78-79, 2p; (AN 18096223)

10. Kid's paradise. By: Patrick, John. Gardening Australia, Apr2005, p22-26, 5p, 9c; (AN 16593169)

There are also articles available in landscape architecture and urban planning publications which we do not have in our library, but which you might find at the University of Washington Libraries. I searched the Avery Index to Periodicals and came up with quite a few potentially useful results. Here are some examples:

Child's play: the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden is a new component of the very successful observatory precinct at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne [Australia] / Bruce Echberg. :photos., site plans. Landscape architecture Australia 2006 Nov., n.112, p. 49-52, ISSN 1833-4814.

Footprints of school gardens in Sweden / Petter kerblom. photos., drawings, plans, site plans. Garden history 2004 Winter, v.32, n.2, p.[229]-247, ISSN 0307-1243.

We also have many books available here at the Miller Library on gardens for children. Our annotated booklist (129 pages)may be of interest.

Date 2017-05-26
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Poisonous plants, Children's gardens and programs

We are a fairly young landscape design company, and we are trying to come up with a protocol for dealing with projects that include families with children who want to plant non-toxic plants. In doing some research on the topic, we have discovered that the definition of "toxic" can vary. Some toxic plant lists include plants that others do not, and different kids are allergic to different plants, etc., so we are trying to come up with the best way to handle these types of projects and the best information to give those clients. It seems that these lists can be fairly extensive, leaving us to wonder what is left to plant that is COMPLETELY safe?!


This has been an issue of concern for me as well, as I supervise volunteers in planting and maintaining a school garden. Concerns often arise about toxic plants, some founded and some not. For instance, playground supervisors "erred on the side of caution" (and hysteria) by warning students that our evergreen huckleberries and saskatoons, carefully chosen for their edibility, were "poison berries," while some parents expressed concern about foxgloves that reseeded from neighboring gardens, knowing that they are toxic. A common sense approach seems to work best. It is easy enough to exclude the plants which seem most likely to cause problems, such as nightshade, yew (the lantern-like berries are attractive and toxic), vetch, sweet pea (the seed pods resemble peas but the seeds are not edible), castor bean, and digitalis from your garden plans, while encouraging parents to supervise their children and provide some edible plants (mint, chives, raspberries, etc.) that children can easily identify and enjoy eating. Toxic plants such as daffodils and rhododendrons seem to me less likely to cause problems because children are not likely to eat them.

We have a good book on this topic, Plants for Play by Robin C. Moore. He points out that the age of the children is an important consideration in choosing which plants to omit. Where babies and toddlers will play, it's important to "avoid placing highly toxic plants, particularly plants with poisonous fruits and plants that can cause dermatitis, within reach of these age groups." He also says, under the heading of Educational Benefits, "children will come across poisonous plants at some point during their childhood. If they are unaware of what those plants look like and the dangers they represent, there is a greater possibility that they may expose themselves to those dangers." Education of the individual child and early supervision are really key.

Our State Poison Control agency has the following fact sheet on this issue. They also keep statistics about which toxic substances cause the most problems locally (plants are not high on most lists). I understand that actual deaths from toxic plants are extremely rare ("It is very rare for plants to cause life-threatening symptoms," as the fact sheet says), but the worry is something one wants to eliminate.

Date 2018-03-14
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How to Grow a School Garden by Arden Bucklin-Sporer, 2010

Reviewed by: Laura Blumhagen on 2010-06-05

The authors, who are members of the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance, recognize a fact that is becoming clear in schools across the country: if we are to have school gardens in this era of tightening budgets, increased academic testing and expanding class sizes, parents must step up and offer their time and energy to establish and maintain them. My own personal experience with this process as a volunteer in the garden at my neighborhood elementary school indicates that while a few parents at each school might have the necessary time and energy to devote to this, it is rare to find anyone at all with the practical knowledge, patience and understanding that are necessary to make such a garden flourish. That's why this book is so important and useful. Not only does it empower parents and teachers to get something growing, it educates them about the planning, funding, building, maintenance, use, and enjoyment of such a garden. Valuable topics include dealing with vandalism, training students in basic garden tasks, preparing for garden lessons, scheduling class activities in the garden, and planning for summer watering. This book is a must-have for any gardening library.

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May 31 2018 13:14:08