ROCK wheelbarrow! I should say that more often (although maybe not at social events – people are surprisingly bored with my wheelbarrow-based small talk). But when it comes to gardening for kids, they're pretty much the perfect container.
Over the years I have created various edible gardens in old wheelbarrows with children. If you choose parmex carrots, radishes, tom thumb salad and dwarf beans, a wheelbarrow can give a child space to grow half a dozen plants. We have also created a mobile herb garden from one in 101 things children can do outside It was perfect for thyme, chives, marjoram and sage.
And this summer we have created a different kind of garden – see the alpine wheelbarrow!
Alps are ideal for this type of planting, as they are generally small and low-growing so that they do not flood the room. Many of them are relatively drought tolerant, which means they are happy with the cart's free drainage.
And of course, as a container plant, you can work with it all year round, so that there is nothing to prevent you from planting a wheelbarrow in autumn.
First you need a wheelbarrow. You can look around if someone has an old beg or try to post a message on Freecycle.
Drainage holes need to be added, which can be achieved simply by tapping a very large nail every 10-15 cm to pierce the base.
Let the children brush it well now before filling it with potting soil up to 5 cm from the top.
Let them lay out the Alps until they are satisfied with the look, and then they can carefully take them out of their pots, dig a planting hole with their hands or a trowel, put them in the plant, and solidify the compost around them again.
I like covering the wheelbarrow with gravel – this prevents the compost from spattering the leaves when you water or when it rains, and makes the plants stand out themselves.
We also added some larger stones and various decorations because … well, why not?
This garden offers a great advantage in summer, because if you go away for a few days and are worried about the cart, you can roll it in the shade. And all year round, its mobile nature means that you can position your garden wherever you want, whenever you want. However, be warned: it becomes heavy, so it's best left to adults – although this is obviously done under the guidance of your top gardener.