Cool For Kids
Many of our gardens are a wonderland of adventure and exploration for children. Here’s our pick of places to inspire them
Showing children that gardening is fun is essential to grab their interest and produce our future gardeners. Combining garden visiting with children is easy when you choose an NGS garden. Over 2,000 NGS gardens welcome youngsters aged 16 and under to visit without charge. Many also offer activities to keep children amused, such as quizzes and treasure hunts, while other gardens are created with the involvement of children themselves.
Included amongst these are several schools who welcome visitors to their grounds, plus gardens with animals for the children to admire. There’s plenty to inspire budding young gardeners, and of course, the promise of a delicious cake to round off the visit!
Two, large, closely located schools in Sussex, are award winning gardens created by teachers, volunteers and children with special needs.
This is the work in progress of children, teachers and volunteers at a special school. over the years the grounds have been transformed into a series of themed gardens. centred around three ponds, the gardens have a calm and spiritual quality. The inspirational motto of ‘green fingers and growing Minds’ reflects the recreational and educational goals of the school.
Oak Grove opened for the first time for the NGS in 2008, and a garden in the making, showing how much can be achieved in less than three years. The areas within the garden include water-wise gardens, a large courtyard with seating area, water features, sculptures and extensive planting, memorial gardens, spiral herb garden, large food growing area, poly tunnels, living willow features and some reclaimed woodland.
This lovely and very welcoming garden is a children’s haven. The two acres are surrounded by woodland and fields and is a plantsman’s delight. Begun 12 years ago from nothing, this undulating landscape has plenty of texture, colour, and unusual plants and trees. Peaceful roams, with plenty of nooks and crannies to discover. Delicious cakes to add to enjoyment.
The children’s involvement can be seen and enjoyed as they all join in growing fruit, flowers and vegetables in a number of classroom-linked projects. There are 7 acres of woodland, herbaceous borders and productive gardens in this rural, child-friendly garden, surrounding a c17 house which is now run as a school.
Roughly 60 x 120 ft, this mature garden has evolved over three generations in one family, having been started in 1924 on the site of an existing orchard. It has Victorian and Japanese influences, including rhododendrons, azaleas and a magnificent wisteria. A peaceful secret garden with a surprise around every corner, and a delight for children of all ages.
Combine a garden visit with a trip to the seaside! This small garden is packed full of ideas and unusual plants using every inch of space to create unusual rooms and places for adults and children to play. The owner specialises in unusual plants that grow well in seaside conditions. A must for any suburban gardener. Great winter interest.