The Children’s Garden by Matthew Appleby

A while ago, I was sent The Children’s Garden a book filled with inspiration for things to make and do with children the garden. It’s written by Matthew Appleby, a former primary school teacher and author of The Allotment Planner. An aesthetically pleasing hardback, full of beautiful and helpfully instructive images, it’s a real pleasure to own and lovely book for the kids to flick through to see if anything appeals if they’re at a loose end.

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The book presents 52 family projects, themed and ordered by season, ranging from dead-easy, (nighttime snail watch with a torch, anyone?) to reasonably challenging (why not keep some chickens?). Everything is given careful step by steps, not assuming knowledge. There are even follow up ideas to take activities further and deepen your family’s outdoor experience. Some projects even take you beyond the confines of your own garden.

Looking ahead to Autumn, I’ve nabbed a few ideas from The Children’s Garden for our bucket list. We’ll hopefully be picking apples and blackberries and making crumble, crafting temporary collages with collected Autumn items, carving pumpkins and toasting marshmallows over a bonfire in our garden.

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We don’t need too much beckoning to get outdoors generally but I imagine once the weather gets colder, I’ll be glad of easy inspiration when my hands are full with the baby and my older two. I can particularly see this book helping those who don’t spend that much time in their gardens but would like to.