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‘Nurture fresh thinking for a healthy world’

SHS Garden Journal Blog

Children's Activities - August 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Activity 1: A Splash of Colour


Resources

  • Variety of flower seeds: marigold, nasturtium, calendula, cosmos, cornflower, sweet alyssum, daisy and dill.
  • Small bowl

Method

  1. Combine flower seeds in bowl. 
  2. Use your fingertips to take a small handful of mixed seeds.
  3. Sprinkle seeds broadly over the garden soil like a gentle fall of rain.
  4. Water the garden seeds.
  5. Visit, wait and watch the seeds sprout and grow to provide a splash of colour throughout your veggie plants.
  6. The colour and fragrance of the flowers are an invitation to beneficial insects, such as bees, wasps, hoverfly, lacewings, ladybird, butterflies, hawk moths, dragonfly, damselfly, and lacewings, to protect and enhance your garden.

Activity 2: Design a Guild

What is a plant guild?

Plant Guild’s are an essential feature of a Permaculture garden as they strengthen growth and foster permanence. Guilds are groups of different plants that work together to use the features of each to maximise full potential. Picture garden diversity, including layers (stacks) of plants, with small plants that support large plants or trees and you will begin to see what a guild represents.
Some features of guilds:
Layers (think a forest) – groundcover, supportive plants, protective plants.
Soil regenerating plants.
Food for humans and animals.
Habitat for insects and animals.
Various root depths to maximise mineral/nutrient harvesting from soil levels.
Perennial plants - stability.
Plant variety to foster natural pest control, and promote beneficial insects.
Diversity to promote healthy ecosystems.

Do you have a fruit tree in your garden that is bare at ground level or being smothered by grass?

This is the perfect spot to create a guild. Conduct research on companion plants that will benefit your particular tree species.
Let’s look at the lemon tree as an example.

Lemon Tree Guild

Lemon Tree Characteristics:
Food – variety of uses in food preparation, medicinal properties.
Forage – flowers attract bees and other beneficial insects.
Habitat – birds, insects.
Lemon trees are heavy feeders and are susceptible to pest and disease attack.

Companion Plants 

Comfrey or legumes (sweet pea) slash and mulch to add nitrogen to soil.Nasturtium used for ground cover and aphid control.
Creeping thyme or lamb’s ear as ground cover plants to protect soil and provide habitat for soil creatures.
Dill, tansy, borage, marigold and lavender – attract beneficial insects.
Guava is a friend of the citrus family; planted close will aid health and protection. 
Grape vines entwined nearby to repel stink beetles.

Include native stingless Sugarbag bees (Tetragonula Carbonaria) within your garden – they love to forage on citrus plants contributing to pollination…

Author: Michelle Carrick
Seed Harvest Spoon Co-Founder and Program Director
Copyright 2014 Seed Harvest Spoon Education Foundation Ltd.
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