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Hannah F.
user 13612842
Portland, ME
Post #: 1
Hi Everyone!

I am wondering if any of you have suggestions for good perennial plants to put in a child's garden. I'd like to build one for our son Ashtee (who is 11 mos and not yet walking, but I'm thinking ahead...) and welcome any suggestions that anyone has!

On my list so far are everbearing strawberries, violet, chives, lavender, and sorrel, and I have a couple of annuals (snap peas, carrots, chamomile, and tangerine gem marigolds). I got some chinese artichoke at the plant swap... might that be a fun one? I have no experience with it.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Hannah (and Jon and Ashtee)
Greg M.
user 3541854
Acton, ME
Post #: 512
I loved picking strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb from the garden when I was a kid, as well as sheep sorrel and wood sorrel. My kids really loved picking from those same plants as well as from the raspberry and blackberry patches....the plants towered over them and it was almost like walking through a maze for them.
To me, plants that kids can pick from and eat of without the need for tools or cooking make for a great kids garden. Someplace where they can go and forage in without the need for parents to be an in-between, other than to pass on basic knowledge, like "don't eat the rhubarb leaves or they'll make you feel sick...but this is how you pull the stalk and peel back the fibers". My kids, and I as a kid, would know what was what and get personal time with the garden/nature this way. It was easy to keep them away from tv and video games in the summer when there were things going on out in the gardens. I'd come home from work and they'd tell me about all the insects, frogs, salamanders and what not they saw while snacking.
Really fantastic that you can get a start on this now so that everything is kicking out the berries and what not when Ashtee is a little older.
BTW, Chinese artichoke is fun, but to me it breaks all the kid garden rules...needs tools, can't see them to know when they're ready, usually I cook them. I'd involve Ashtee with harvesting them when he's older, but personally, I'd grow that one in the Hannah and Jon edible landscape gardensmile
Aaron P.
user 6845673
Falmouth, ME
Post #: 184
Melothria species are great annuals, either "cucumber berries" or "mouse melons" both look exactly like watermelons, but taste like cuccumbers and are the size of grapes/blueberries. You can get mouse melons from fedco under the name mexican sour gherkin.

My daughter loves sweet cecily, its a good companion to fruit trees and has sweet anise flavored leaves that are edible out of hand, but where it really shines are the unripe seeds... they taste just like black jelly beans, my daughter calls them candy flowers.
Sue M.
user 3284483
South Portland, ME
Post #: 144
My kids loved eating chives in the garden. Egyptian onion might be a fun one. Watching it walk itself across the garden would be fascinating. What kid doesn't like pulling up carrots and eating them right there. You could even get the rainbow blend. When he's older a sunflower circle with peas and beans growing up the stems would be fun. Lemon thyme is nice because it smells so good. It could be a ground cover. Any of the edible flowers such as nasturtium, johnny jump-up, borage, chives are in that category. I could go on and on!
Loren B
user 65582502
West Rockport, ME
Post #: 9
Here are a couple tried and true from our raising up six~~

Anise Hyssop -- a good grazing and nice bouquet/taste of licorice

Catnip-- to share with the kitty and also pick for tummy aches

Dandelions-- to eat and blow, of course!

Sorrel-- second the selection of this one: easy to grab and oh so SOUR

plus Plantain so you can teach him how to make a poultice for his "boo-boo's"- it is
great for stings and bites.


Hannah F.
user 13612842
Portland, ME
Post #: 3
Thank you everyone for your wisdom, ideas, and expertise! I love what each of you have said, and am working to incorporate those things. And for anyone else wanting to contribute to this conversation, I welcome it any time! We'll continue to add things to his garden, of course, so keep the great ideas coming!

Green blessings to you all!
Hannah, Jon, and Ashtee
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