A Children’s Flower Garden in a Kiddie Swimming Pool

, , ,
local nursery

I’m sure most of you know how much fun it can be to garden with your kids.  I remember my dad building each of us a raised planter where we could grow vegetables and flowers.  Today, my kids and I went to the store to buy flowers for their new garden.  You will NEVER guess what they are planting their flowers in…

Easy Garden

Our first stop was our local nursery.  Each was allowed to pick out two six-packs of flowers.  The kids decided to each pick a different type of flower and then shared them.  My youngest daughter, Gracie, selected geraniums and blue petunias.

Easy Garden

Ruthie went the fragrant route and selected stock, (beautiful and fragrant despite its ordinary name) and white alyssum.

Easy Garden

Dianthus and snapdragons were Kai’s choice.

Easy Garden

We finished making our selections and then got ready to go home and start planting.  The only question the kids had was – where were they going to plant their flowers?

Easy Garden

How about their old kiddie pool?  You know – the ones that cost about $10 that your kids play in during the summer.  However, once summer is over, most people either throw out their pool or store it somewhere out of the way.  

Well, now you can use it as a planter for either flowers or shallow-rooted vegetables or herbs.

The process is easy, and your kids will have fun assisting you.

First, move the pool where you want the garden to be as it will be too heavy once you fill it with soil.  Then make multiple holes on the bottom for drainage.  Then fill with a mixture of potting mix.  Sprinkle some slow-release fertilizer and now begin planting!

Easy Garden

Gracie planted her first plant, a peach-colored geranium.

Easy Garden
Easy Garden

My teenage daughter, Rachele, was overseeing our progress while texting on her phone.


We finished!  The kids are so excited to see their flowers grow.  The garden will be a riot of different colors and has no sense of design, which is as it should be for a children’s flower garden.


This will be our ‘before’ picture.  We planted alyssum, dianthus, geraniums, petunias, snapdragons, and stock.

If you would like to try this at home and want the garden to become a more permanent part of the landscape, you can add a brick border or plant shrubs and perennials around the outside of the pool.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
34 replies
  1. Nell Jean
    Nell Jean says:

    Great idea to use the pool as a planter. They won't forget this project. I think their design is great and their choices were all good ones.

    Consider having them tuck a few radish seeds around the edge for a fast growing treat. Mama always said a packet of radishes would make a gardener because they come up and grow off so quickly.

  2. Janet
    Janet says:

    How fun to use the pool for a planter, I tried to get the dog to get into it for a bath….but no luck!! I like the choice of the stock…love that fragrance! Your little miracles are savy gardeners. I like how you said they all shared their six cellpacks. Start them young and cultivate that green thumb.

  3. James Missier
    James Missier says:

    love your idea of creativity in getting the children to plant in their swimming kiddie pool.
    Hope they are not sacrificing it rather converting it to a lovely garden container.

  4. Scott & Liz
    Scott & Liz says:

    Noelle, This post brings back some very fond memories of when my daughters were little and we would find a section of my raised bed veg garden for them to load up with flowers. Thanks for the memories.

  5. Autumn Belle
    Autumn Belle says:

    Your "3 miracles" are like Fu Lu Shou, the 3 attributes to a happy life – Fu (good fortune) Lu (Prosperity) and So (Longevity). When you add your 2 elder children, you add double happiness. It is a great idea to use the pool as a planter. Why didn't I ever think of this. I too should have taught my children gardening from young.

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Great job!
    Have you or your children "Ever Seen a Plant Move When You Tickle It?" If you wanted to share your love for nature with your children, here is an activity I have done with mine. This may change the way you and the kids react to plants for ever. Imagine giving your children some seeds. Having them watch them sprout and grow. Then shortly after the second leaves appear they tickle the plant and it moves its branches down and closes its leaves! Give them more than a gift; give them a learning experience they will never forget. I found information and a TickleMe Plant Greenhouse at http://www.ticklemeplant.com Use coupon code PLANT to save $2.00

  7. Kanak Hagjer
    Kanak Hagjer says:

    Noelle…love the idea about using the kiddie pool as a planter. It looks like such fun–going to the nursery, picking the plants, and planting them. All your children are really cute. What a lovely post!

  8. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    What a great idea using a pool for a garden. Just the right size for little gardeners. Your kids are just beautiful and quite the little gardeners.
    I wrote a story that they may like on my blog today.
    Give them a high five from Balisha.

  9. Kiki
    Kiki says:

    Wonderful post! I felt like I was on a little adventure!Looks like so much fun..what a wonderful post! I enjoyed that! Great ideas and lovely outcome!

  10. Carol
    Carol says:

    How precious! Lovely post … and the portrait of all three of your miracles is beautiful. Wild idea to plant in an old wading pool… fun.

  11. marmee
    marmee says:

    i love everything about this post…of course your children all five being in the story. i love that they are all getting into the spirit of gardening and doing it together. i love that you let them just plant what they wanted where they wanted.
    what a great idea to use your little pool for.
    what a wonderful family project.
    happy autumn.

  12. Patsi's  'Garden Endeavors'
    Patsi's 'Garden Endeavors' says:

    Cleaver idea for the kids.
    Looks like you all had fun.
    I must explore more…can't imagine all the plants you have available in your climate.
    Keep trying to peek at the flowers in the picture taken at the garden mart. 🙂

  13. fairegarden
    fairegarden says:

    Oh how sweet your children are! I see the one went for fragrance too, good for her! Texting? Of course. The idea for the kiddie pool is excellent and doable by anyone. It will be a fabulous meaningful garden soon. 🙂

  14. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    I got an email from Blotanical yesterday saying that I was one of your favorites. Thankyou so much.I belong to blotanical, but really don't understand the workings of it. I think that I will go there and study it some more.Thanks for taking the time to read and leave kind comments.

  15. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    What a fantastic idea. I've been looking for ways to get my teenaged children more interested in my garden. Although they're older than your three young gardeners, the idea of their own space might appeal to them. I'll try it! BTW thanks for your comment on my blog. It fascinates me that all over the world in every possible clime, there are people communicating about gardening through forums like Blotanist!

  16. Muddy Boot Dreams
    Muddy Boot Dreams says:

    A lovely post, and great memories in the making for sure.

    It is rather odd for us Northern gardeners to be seeing anyone planting, when we have such cold winters coming at us.

    Odd, but reassuring in some way, that spring will return for us also.


Comments are closed.