Create A Children’s Garden in a Plastic Pool

Children's Garden

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 😉

Children's Garden

Our first stop was our local nursery.  Each child was allowed to pick out 2 six-packs of flowers.  The kids decided to each pick a different type of flower and then share them with each other.  My youngest daughter selected geraniums and blue petunias.

Children's Garden

My older daughter selected stock, (beautiful and fragrant despite its ordinary name) and white alyssum.

Children's Garden

My son decided on dianthus and snapdragons.

Children's 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?  Well…..

old kiddie pool

How about their old kiddie pool?  You know, the ones that cost less then $10 and your kids have fun playing in during the summer.  When summer is over, most people either throw it out or store it somewhere out of the way.  Well, you can use it as a planter for either flowers or shallow-rooted vegetables or herbs.

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

old kiddie pool

My youngest daughter planted the first plant, a peach-colored geranium.

old kiddie pool

My teenage daughter is overseeing our planting while texting on her phone.

old kiddie pool

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.

old kiddie pool

Old kiddie pool

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

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

**Some of you may have noticed that my three youngest children do not look like me, (my two oldest daughters do).   We adopted our youngest children from China.  I call them my “Three Chinese Miracles”.

A Children’s Flower Garden in a Kiddie Swimming 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."
11 replies
  1. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    I remember reading this and loving the tender way your kids were looking at their selections. That was a great idea…to keep their choices together in the wading pool.The way you involve your kids in gardening will be with them for the rest of thier lives. They will always want to plant things. Balisha

  2. Pam's English Garden
    Pam's English Garden says:

    Dear Noelle, I am so glad you showed this post from your archives, as I was not following your blog back then, so I missed it. I love gardening with children. And I have a 7 year old grandson who will be a great gardener one day I am sure. Your children are delightful! Pam x

  3. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Great, that way you have passed on the legacy to your children. They will appreciate that when they are old and have children of their own. Values and bonding moments are also injected to the task, even not intentionally they are the side effects, e.g. putting value on used and non-biodegradable materials. You should see my older post of garden tables and chairs from old truck tires, as i saw in one of my local travels. Great way of helping the earth.

  4. catmint
    catmint says:

    Hi Noelle, what a good idea to recycle an old posting that is so special. I love to see the child-parent interaction, and love the way you incorporate your children into your blog. cheers, catmint

  5. One
    One says:

    Noelle, It's a wonderful post. I wouldn't know it has been posted before. My daughter is reading this with me. She thinks you are sweet and kind. 🙂

  6. Rose
    Rose says:

    I'm so glad you pulled this out of the archives, Noelle, because I'm sure I didn't see it the first time around. What a great way to get children interested in gardening, and the kiddie pool is a creative idea, yet one that makes so much sense.

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