I’m not green fingered in the slightest, but I so wish I was! Walking round the garden centre yesterday I saw so many gorgeous things for the garden, but to be honest I don’t have a clue where to start with our garden. We’ve lived in the house a year now, and apart from cutting a few very obvious things back we’ve done little more than cut the grass in our back garden. I’m really hoping that under the pretence of teaching the kids what to do in the garden Plant, Sow, Make & Grow can help me improve my gardening skills, and get the back garden under control.
Described as a book of “mud-tactic activities for budding gardeners” Esther Coombs has brilliantly written a book that is not only nice and fun to read, but also teaches you a huge amount.
Split up into the four seasons the book contains gardening projects along side crafty outdoor projects to keep kids entertained. This is a gardening book that doesn’t require you to have a whole shed full of tools and an endless supply of seeds before you start, but instead shows you what you can actually do with very little. At the start it sets out the gardening supplies you do need – simple things like a trowel, hand fork, watering can and compost – but also other things like bubble wrap, lolly sticks and netting made from charity shop net curtains!
Plant, Sow, Make & Grow starts in spring, with a lovely little project to make little seed pots from old toilet roll tubes. It’s the perfect way to help children start to get their hands dirty, do a spot of recycling and also learn how to sow seeds. The book then moves on to talk about what can be sown when in the year, and talks you through all the different types of fruit and vegetables that you can grow in your back garden.
I love the way that Plant, Sow, Make & Grow brings together so many more things that just gardening. As well as crafty projects for the garden, that involve recycling lots of things from around the house, I also love the way that the whole book has a thrifty and eco focus to it. It shows you how to make a watering can from an old plastic milk bottle, and bird feeders from the heads of your sunflowers.
Because of the way the book is split into seasons it come back to some of the activities that you did earlier in the year, and shows you what to do next. So for example, you plant your strawberries in the spring, are shown how to cover them in the summer, and then harvest them later on in the summer. It even goes as far as telling you what to do with harvest gluts that you might be lucky enough to have.
The book doesn’t only look after plants though. Included are instructions on making a bug hotel and a page telling you about the sorts of wildlife that you want to encourage to come to your garden to help with your plants.
I’m incredibly impressed with Plant, Sow, Make & Grow and in particular the almost cyclic nature of the activities in the book. I can see us going back to it throughout the year, and each year, to be reminded about what we are supposed to be doing in the garden. If this Easter holiday rain ever stops it will be a great way to get the kids to help us make a proper start to our back garden and help create it into the sort of productive eco garden I have always wanted. And hopefully we can do it all on a budget!
Plant, Sow, Make & Grow by Esther Coombs was published in March 2019 by Button Books and has an RRP of £12.99. It is aimed at aged 4 to 11, but with parental guidance support I think you can adapt many of the activities for younger children too. As an adult I can also see it as a brilliant way of learning a bit about gardening alongside my children. Plant, Sow, Make & Grow is available to buy online here and at the time of writing it is priced at £8.56.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Plant, Sow, Make & Grow for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.