Arboretum News

Kids in the Garden

Five colorful vegetables and pollinator-friendly plants for a children's garden.

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This year’s Home Demonstration Garden will be full of “tried and true” vegetables (many of them All-America Selections or Master Gardener seed trial recommendations) chosen by Landscape Gardener Ted Pew. Each bed in the Home Demonstration Garden features a different theme highlighting a variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers that attract pollinators.

Many of the plants Pew chose this year might also attract children. If you’re looking for inspiration for your own garden, here are five of our picks based on what will be featured in our Home Demonstration Garden this year.

Purple Haze Carrot
Purple Haze Carrot. Photo courtesy of All-America Selections.

1. Purple Haze Carrot: Carrots that are purple on the outside with an orange center make snack time delightful. This carrot is a 2006 Master Gardener seed trial recommendation and an All-America Selection for that same year.

2. Chinese Pink Celery: This cutting celery has stunning, bright pink stems, Pew said, noting that it has a lightly sweet flavor.

Bright Lights Swiss Chard
Bright Lights Swiss Chard. Photo courtesy of All-America Selections.

3. Bright Lights Swiss Chard: This edible plant is so colorful, it could be grown just for show, but it is also delicious raw or cooked. This was a 1998 All-America Selection and a 2005 Master Gardener seed trial recommendation.

4. Super Sweet 100: This plant produces clusters of small red tomatoes that are delicious for snacks or salads—and fun to pick, too.

Fiesta del Sol sunflower
Fiesta del Sol. Photo courtesy of All-America Selections.

5. Fiesta del Sol Sunflower: This compact sunflower (it grows about 2-3 feet in height) is an All-America Selection from 2000. If you want to attract butterflies to your garden, this is a great plant to try, Pew says.

If you need help sourcing plants for your garden, click on over to the Andersen Horticultural Libary’s Plant Information Online, one of the world’s largest resources for botanical and horticultural information. Among other things, you can use the database to find information on where to purchase plants and seeds, with shipping sources for more than 100,000 plants from more than 1,000 North American plant suppliers (the largest listing currently cultivated in North America).

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