Your little boy may not have any interest in flowers or veges, but you can still get them excited about gardening if you take an alternate route-into a prehistoric land that they create themselves.
Grow a Dinosaur Garden
Carve out a section of the backyard for your child. It doesn’t have to be a large area, in fact, you could dedicate the side of the house, garage, or a corner of your main garden. Choose a safe area that you don’t mind your child hanging out in for long periods of time! This probably means you will want to have a clear view of the area from the house, or your main garden if possible.
Ancient plants such as ferns, mosses, cycads actually predate the flowers and trees in our gardens. These elderly plants know how to survive rough treatment and are the perfect choice for boys.
Horsetails make an excellent prehistoric forest. Plant 4 or 5 along the back. Add clumps of Japanese painted fern or Christmas fern in front. Leave space between the plants, laying Irish moss down to cover any bare spots.
Dig a watering hole for the reptiles and then sink a cake pan into the dirt to keep the water cleaner.
Gather a bunch of rubber dinosaurs to make the garden come to life. These plants can withstand tail swinging and reptile battles.
Container Dinosaur Garden
A dinosaur sanctuary can also be created in a container. Look for a large whiskey barrel or other large container. Drill holes in the bottom and then fill with Styrofoam peanuts a third of the way up. Place landscape cloth on top and secure. Pour potting soil on top. It should be several inches deep, but it is unnecessary to fill the entire container with dirt in order for these plants to grow.
Gather your plants and let your child choose the best arrangement. Remember this is a habitat first and foremost. Leave spaces in between and fill with spongy mosses.
Be sure the container is set on a saucer or large tray and then water the dinosaur garden.
Small, Indoor Dinosaur Garden
Plant small ferns, ivy and mosses in a deep saucer if the other two gardens are not a possibility, or you simply want to test the waters first and keep it manageable.
Some Possible Dinosaur Plants
* Christmas Fern: A dark, evergreen fern with 12-inch long fronds that grow 6-8 inches tall. It requires well-drained soil and part shade.
* Cinnamon Fern: This is a large dramatic fern that grows up to 4 feet tall. The cinnamon-colored spore bearing fronds gives it an ancient feeling. It grows well in part shade, but can handle full sun with lots of water.
* Rabbit’s-foot Fern: Perfect for a tropical or indoor dinosaur garden. The furry rhizomes look like rabbit’s feet, reddish and soft. This plant requires bright indirect light.
* Squirrel’s-foot Fern: Lacy ferns have a soft and feel. Easy to start, the rhizome can be simply secured on the soils surface with a paperclip. Grows 10-12 feet tall in a shady area.
* Whisk Fern: This is a versatile plant that grows well in shade, sun, container and garden beds. The light green color adds a nice contrast to a boys garden.
* Horsetail: An invasive plant, so be sure to keep it contained or in an area that can expand without worry. This evergreen plant makes an excellent forest for dinosaurs, It grows pencil-straight, 3-4 feet tall.
* Sago Palm: The rigid, dark green leaves grow from the central trunk. The trunk is brown, scaly and makes a nice addition for dinosaurs.