When my boys were young, and I was just starting to grow my garden, I decided to plant a special spot just for them. One where they could dig in the dirt and help care for plants that had a special significance to them. So I planted an animal garden, a concept that is old-hat now but at the time was fairly unique. And for many years, my boys loved visiting the lambs’ ear (Stachys byzantina), dragon’s blood (Sedum spurium), turtlehead (Chelone glabra) and a whole host of other plants with animal-related common names.
Yes, animal gardens are so 1990’s ( I planted ours in ’93), but there’s a whole new crop of plant cultivars to capture your child’s imagination. Many are named after your child’s favorite storybook characters. Planting a storybook garden is a wonderful way to cultivate your child’s natural curiosity while teaching them the life lessons learned while tending a garden. Your storybook garden can be a special spot for the two of you to spread out a blanket and spend some time reading while growing memories.
The plants in this post are geared towards children who are fans of classic children’s books like Through the Looking Glass or who can’t get enough of the likes of King Arthur and his knights. You should be able to find some of these storybook plants in your local nursery but others may have to be specially ordered. Click on the links to see a photo and cultural information for each plant.
- Alice in Wonderland (Hemerocallis ‘Alice in Wonderland’)
- Arabian Nights (Gladiolus x hortulanus ‘Arabian Night’)
- Black Beauty (Sambucus nigra ‘Black Beauty’)
- King Arthur (Delphinium cultorum ‘King Arthur’)
- Princess Bride (Paeonia ‘Princess Bride’)
- Wild Thing (Salvia greggii ‘Wild Thing’)
If you have a child who loves Walt Disney characters, click here to see a post about a Disney-themed storybook garden. And don’t forget to stop by again soon to learn about storybook plants to grow for a child who is fascinated by folklore, fairy tales and myths.
Note: Post written by Debbie Roberts @ gardenofpossibilities.