"In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."
One of our absolute favourite inspirations is The Veggie Patch Kids. Beckie and her beautiful family have recently started to cultivate an allotment, with a dream of filling it with all the colours of the rainbow. Her husband, evidently a dab hand with a shovel and pair of secateurs, cleared the bramble bushes and laid beds in ready preparation for the new seeds to be sown.
Dream big, grow wild.
How do you get your children engaged in gardening?
"For us it’s all about having fun. And being outdoors, digging in the dirt, and watering things is a great way to start. Nico, our one year old, adores just getting messy and following her big sister around with a watering can, whilst Bella, who is almost five, is fascinated by growing things and learning about the natural world - it’s pretty amazing to see it all through the eyes of a child for us as well."
What’s a really simple and easy way to start out if you’ve never done it before?
"Friends gave us some peas and a little pot for Bella’s third birthday and we started with that. Everyday it was the first thing she went to check on to 'see how much it has grows Mama’ - it sparked something in her mind and now she’s out in the allotment sowing and watering and weeding and so so excited to eat her very own raspberries and strawberries this summer."
What can you do if you don’t have gardening space?
"We moved from the countryside in Scotland a couple of years ago to a city in the North of England and whilst we have a very pretty little garden for flowers we don’t have much growing space - so we put our names down for an allotment which we got earlier this year, and was the best thing we have done during lockdown. It’s been magical just transforming the space together as a family. You can also grow lots of things like tomatoes and strawberries in pots and hanging baskets if you don’t have much space - and there’s an amazing gardening community on Instagram who will help with all your questions every step of the way."
What are your top foolproof veggies or fruits to start with?
"I’m not sure anything is foolproof - I think when gardening with kids it’s making sure ‘the journey is the destination’, if you know what I mean. The magic is in the process and getting your kids to engage with the natural world. The fruit and veg is (and will be, hopefully) a very happy bonus! We are learning as we go on the allotment although previously have had great success with peas, green beans as well as the tomatoes and strawberries in pots and baskets.
We are also planting a bee bed and a wildflower mound and creating a bug hotel to attract insects and bees and butterflies- that is as important to us as the fruit and veg, if not more so...."