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Five Of The Best Flowers To Grow For Children
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Five of the Best Flowers to Grow for Children

When you are gardening with children, simple is best. Growing flowers from seeds can be a daunting task for even seasoned gardeners if they choose a variety of flower that is fussy. Some flowers need special lighting conditions, some need watering done is a specific way, and some need extra food and attention. So if you want to grow flowers for kids to plant and tend- what are the best flowers to grow?

Zinnias - My daughter's favorite garden flower. They grow tall and produce large, brightly colored blooms. Our favorite variety is Candy Cane. It produces striped blooms. Zinnias are great for centerpiece displays and their beauty ensures that they are always a conversation starter.

Sunflowers - As children, most of us grew sunflowers (even if they lived short lives in a dixie cup). Sunflowers are always a source of fascination with children and adults. Some varieties grow as high as 12 feet, but there are smaller varieties available for those who don't want that tall of a flower. Sunflowers are pretty, hardy, and bound to make you smile every time you look at them. Planting sunflower seeds are easy and fun to do. You also can harvest sunflower seeds for a delicious, nutritious snack. Planting sunflower seeds and watching the plant grow is a childhood must.

Cosmos- Large seeds make for easy planting for little fingers. An easy flower to grow, eight hours of direct sunlight to the plant will provide you with numerous gorgeous blooms. Colors vary, including pink, orange, red, and yellow. Cosmos make a great flower arrangement element. If Cosmos are left to seed themselves, they will generally return the following year, making them one of the best easy grow flowers.

Daisies - Children have loved daisies since the beginning of time. Daisy crowns, daisy chains, and he-loves-me-not are all games/activities that most kids should have done or participated in by the time they have grown up. Daisies come in multiple colors. Some have a single set of petals, some have double sets. They are as distinct and as unique as each child is. They are another one of my favorite easy grow flowers and every child loves daisies.

Snapdragons - A personal favorite of mine, I remember those lazy summer days when my brother and I would pick snapdragons of varying colors and make them "talk" to each other. A few weeks ago, I picked one from my garden and showed my daughter. She was terrified and thought it would eat her. I felt awful. However, once I calmed her down and explained that it was fun to squeeze the sides and watch the 'mouth" open, she was loving these playful flowers as much as I do. We grow different colors from light and dark pink, to yellow, red or white and each color has its own style of talking, temperament, etc. Snapdragons remind us of an important lesson - you are never too old to play in the garden.

It was difficult to stop this list at five. Some others I recommend trying are Petunias, Pansies, Johnny Jump Ups (edible) and Nasturtiums (also edible). The best way decide which ones to grow is to take time and choose what flowers to grow with the child. Give him/her some input into colors, shapes, etc. You can guide the decision-making process. Be sure to steer a very young child away from foxgloves and other poisonous flowers, no matter how beautiful or interesting they are. Stick with simple flowers for kids. Large, easy to handle seeds are best to begin with. Move on to more difficult flowers as the child gets older.

You plant flowers, but you harvest so much more than pretty blooms. The seeds you sow aren't only flowers- they are seeds of communication, camaraderie, and learning. It's a chance to teach. Be sure to discuss the "whys" of gardening as you go. Growing flowers from seeds is a great way to explain math, science, and vocabulary in a fun, hands-on setting. Look through the eyes of the child and see the world around you in a way you had forgotten. Gardening is a fantastic opportunity to spend time with each other. The best flowers to grow allow you to really enjoy each other's company in a unique and beautiful environment. Remember - the flowers you plant together will die at the end of the season, but the memories you make will never ever fade.


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