Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Kid's New Flower Garden...

I've mentioned in a couple posts that the kids are getting a new flower garden. They've been asking for their own garden for the past couple years, but we either haven't gotten around to it or we haven't all agreed on where to put a garden for them.

I have a nice big flower garden in one part of our yard that I can never seem to keep up with. It has a lot of flowers in it already, but there are a lot of weeds and grass that grow up through the flowers, and I just can't get them out. It drives me nuts that the garden always looks rough; across the street from the garden is an intersection, and when you sit at the stop sign, you see the garden. No matter how nice the rest of our yard looks, that messy garden just makes the rest look unkempt.

The view from the porch; it's right behind the swing set

Closer view; hi Mason!

View from the road. Not pretty. Oh, bathtub will be coming
out of the yard this year, too.

So I made a decision. We are going to dig out all the flowers from the garden, replant a few of them in different spots in the garden, and the rest will either go next to our shed (as that little garden patch is fairly empty) or be given away. The kids will now take over the garden, and boy, are they excited!

With some inspiration from Pinterest, we decided on what kind of flower garden to have for the kids.

The original inspiration came from this picture:

via Summer Camp Program Director

I knew I wanted to put it somewhere in our yard, but where?

Then I saw this picture:

via Gardening Ideas with The Green Thumb

And my wheels started turning. What if we made a kid's garden with the sign to different places in literature, and had a brick for each book that place is from? And then we could even have a plant from each book in the garden, too!

And so the Storybook Garden was born.

After lots of hours of research, from reading actual literary books we'll be using for the garden, pouring over garden websites and catalogs, and discussing with the kids what they'd like to see, we finally had our game plan.

But how to do it on a $50 plant budget was going to be difficult!

Here's our plan:

Narnia, from The Chronicles of Narnia: Lucy has a special magical cordial that has healing powers, and is made from a fire flower.

Delosperma Fire Spinner, via Park Seed

The flower I actually wanted was this one:

Fire Wings Tulip Bulb, via Park Seed

However, it's one that needs to be planted in the fall. We may splurge and get it in the fall and find a space for it because it's just so awesome.

Wonderland, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass: This one was so much fun to plan! I had just read the books, and there are so many fun flowers in the books that it was hard to narrow down what we would use. We narrowed it down to two (I think my orignial list was eight or nine flowers). I had to have these roses; they looked like Alice had been painting them red, just like in the book for the Red Queen!

Scentimental Floribunda Rose, via Henry Field's

And we all loved these! It's just like the White Rabbit that Alice chases down the rabbit hole. We planted the seeds, and they're already starting to sprout.

Bunny Tails Ornamental Grass, via Park Seed

The Hundred Acre Wood, from The House at Pooh Corner: Did you know that there is a real woods that this is based on? I ended up with a long list of plants that we could have put in, but due to budget and space limitations, we chose this plant...

Firefly Calluna Heather shrub, via Park Seed

It'll give some all year round interest to the garden, plus attract hummingbirds and butterflies!

MacGregor's Garden, from Peter Rabbit: This is one of the kid's favorite stories, so it had to be included. We'll be using some of the Bunny Tails from the Wonderland section in this part, as well as this plant:

Color Up Mix Hybrid Ornamental Cabbage, via Park Seed

Oz, from The Wizard of Oz: Okay, so I don't think this plant is actually in Oz, but whenever I think about the book, I think of poppies!

Pizzicato Oriental Poppy, via Park Seed

I'll also be figuring out how to make this super cute guy:

via Tailored Sweets Blog

Whoville, from Horton Hears a Who and The Lorax: Okay, again, Whoville isn't in The Lorax, and technically Whoville is actually on (or is it in?) a speck of dust that is placed on a clover, but we thought this plant could double as either a Truffula tree or a clover. They're sprouting from seeds already, too!

Seastar Mix Aster, via Park Seed

The Shire, from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: This one was tricky. A lot of the plants that Tolkien used/mentioned were fictional. I always loved the white flower on the burial mounds of the kings, but trying to reproduce something that was fictional into something real was hard. We ended up settling on this one, it's not the same, but it's close enough for us!

Pacifica White Hybrid Vinca, via Park Seed

We're also planting this; Hobbits loved their pipe weed!

Perfume Deep Purple Hybrid Flowering Tobacco, via Park Seed

Hogwarts, from the Harry Potter series: This one we're struggling with. The plants that we like are really hard to find (did you know there's a real Mandrake plant? The root really does look like a baby! It doesn't scream though, thankfully!). I'm thinking we'll find something like snapdragons and use some liberties with it. Any suggestions?

And last but not least, this will be going around the edges by the rocks. Pete really liked the way it looks, and we're hoping it grows. The seeds are ridiculously tiny, and it has to be watered specially.

Pearlwort Sagina, via Park Seed
Any of you math whizzes may notice that if you add up all the prices for all the plants, it's waaaay over our $50 budget, even without thinking about shipping. I ordered my veggie seeds and all the flower garden seeds and plants from Park Seed together, as well as some sweet potatoes for my mother-in-law. I was able to use a super awesome code that I had (20% seeds off any order $50 or more) and any order over $50 was free shipping, I saved a ton of money. I have about $10+ left in my budget for the rose bush. I'm waiting for them to go on sale or hoping to find them or something similar cheaper when the gardening sections of local stores open up.

Are you doing any garden projects this year?


  1. Replies
    1. Genius!!! They're my favorite, and I have some I can transplant over, so I don't have to break the budget. Great idea, Corrie! :)

  2. I LOVE THIS IDEA! I just can't get the idea of a book garden out of my head. Perhaps this will actually make me enjoy gardening?