A half term garden project can be low cost, offer a great way to encourage children outdoors and to take an interest in gardening all year. What’s not to like?

Half term garden project: start a garden year scrap book

You will need:

  • Scissors to cut flowers and leaves
  • Newspaper sheets and heavy books to press the flowers and leaves
  • Glue and a notebook or scrapbook to store the pressed leaves and flowers
  • Pens and pencils to record where and when the leaf or flower was found.

Out in the garden, at each school holiday collect favourite flowers and leaves from plants that are looking their best. At February half term these might include winter flowering jasmine, an early primrose, winter flowering pansies, ivy and euonymous. At each school holiday through the year you can add flowers from the seasons and form a garden calendar.

Place the flowers and leaves carefully between sheets of newspaper, and put one or two heavy (gardening!)  books on top to press them flat.

A few days later, when they are flat and dry, paste them into a special garden notebook, perhaps with a picture of the plant they came from, and a note of the place they were found and the date they were picked. Or make a collage that gives the feel of the garden.

half term garden project

Zizshu. Pressed flowers. 鄧盈玉 (DENG Yingyu). This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.

It is illegal to take wild plants from wild places but ask friends and family if you can pick flowers and leaves from their gardens as well as yours.

Half term garden project: bring the spring inside

Catkins are the early sign of spring that, on a cold and rainy day, may still seem far away. Make cheerful, super-sized catkins to bring the spring inside your home.

 

Half term garden project

Catkins are the sign of spring we all love - here on Exmoor in February. Sarah Buchanan

You will need:

  • A mix of different coloured tissue and greeting papers
  • 30cm lengths of cotton or wool thread – one for each catkin you want to make
  • A darning needle
  • Scissors
  • Long twigs that can stand in a vase or jug.

Simply cut lots of small (about 1cm square) squares or triangles from coloured tissue papers and scraps of greeting paper. Thread a piece of cotton or wool about 30cm long onto a large needle. Tie a good sized knot at the end of the thread, and push the needle through the centre of each paper piece, pushing them loosely together along the until you have a super sized ‘catkin’ about 10cm or more long. Tie a knot at the top of the catkin.

Arrange your twigs in a large jar, vase or jug (you don’t need water) and attach the catkins along the twigs using the loose end of their threads to tie them to the twigs.