To celebrate how your family grows, create a special container garden in which each member of the family has his or her own plant. Pick ones that reflect each person's personality or traits -- small, white wispy alyssum for the baby; cheery four-o-clocks for the toddler who always needs to take a nap about then; giant marigolds for Mom; candytufts for the kid with the sweet tooth. (One note: Be sure to check the safety of each plant -- some lovely ones, such as bleeding hearts, foxglove, lily of the valley, lupine and monkshood, are poisonous and should be avoided.) Or if you're culinary minded, do an herb garden with everyone's favorite flavors.
What you'll need:
- Large planting container (36 inches in diameter)
- Potting soil
- Garden trowel
- Selection of plants (6 to 12, depending on size of plants)
- Watering can
- 2-inch wooden circles (one for each family member)
- Craft sticks (one for each family member)
- Nontoxic outdoor paint
- Staple gun
What you'll do:
Fill the planting container two-thirds full with potting soil. Help your children organize the plants (short ones in front or around the edges, taller ones in back or in the middle) into a suitable arrangement before setting them into the soil.
Make garden markers by attaching one wooden circle to each craft stick with the staple gun (an adult should do this). Then label each one with the appropriate family member's name and the plant name -- "Mom's Marigolds," "Susan's Brown-Eyed Susans" -- and let everyone decorate as they wish. When dry, set the labels into the containers next to the plants.