Foreword Review — July / Aug 2002
Gardening isn’t just for adults. It can be a very rewarding activity for children. In this Quick Starts for Kids title, the fun of gardening is introduced with more than twenty-eight exciting projects.
Beginners can start with the Green-Thumb Journal, to keep track of planting dates, weather conditions, and plant growth. Pet lovers can try keeping a gardening pet-red wiggler worms, very useful in the compost bin. Complete directions for making a worm bin are included. Kids can learn a great deal about soil enrichment and cycles of life from raising worms and using the vermicompost on their plants.
For city dwellers, the author offers container projects for both inside and outside, including a heart-shaped ivy topiary, a terrarium, and a soccer ball planter, as well as unique projects like a water garden and a “pick from the lawn chair strawberry patch.”
For families with a little more land, Congdon suggests projects with specific goals. Kids can grow a broom by planting sorghum, which is used for making brooms and brushes; or a pizza by selecting favorite veggies to raise for toppings; or a flag by marking out a plot with flour, and planting red, white, and blue petunias. Popcorn lovers can grow their own corn and bird watchers can grow a birdhouse from a bottle-shaped gourd. Instructions are even given for growing a very large pumpkin!
All of the projects include materials lists and complete directions. A Growing Guide is supplied, along with Tips and Garden Fun. The Resource Guide provides the sources for obtaining the plants mentioned in each project, with addresses, phone numbers, and web addresses.
There is quite a bit of information packed into this short book. The projects are appealing and the directions are clearly written-beginning gardeners won’t be intimidated. Get started gardening, where “the more dirt under your fingernails, the better!” What kid wouldn’t love that?