The Children’s Garden

Our Children’s Garden is a magical place. Children are naturally drawn to the gentle nature of the garden – to the animals, the plants, the insects and birds. Their curiosity is at its peak in the garden. They wonder how? Why? Where? When? What? What if? The questions are endless and the learning takes them to new places each time they enter the garden.

When you enter the garden you see a Vegetable Garden with a continuous crop of veggies to share throughout the summer. Next comes the Lean-to. The Lean-to is literally a green-roofed structure with an entire roof of sedums and succulents. It is designed to teach the children about the water cycle, sustainability and care for our earth. The lean-to will be used as an outdoor classroom, theater, and gathering place for special Schoolyard Habitat Site* events.

From here you enter the Five Senses section of the garden. In the Smell Garden the children have learned that Spanish Lavender smells strongest if you rub your fingers over it. The Touch Garden is home to a Paper Bark Maple named for its exfoliating bark which gets more pronounced as the tree gets older. The Stumpery is a natural woodland area with a woody understory herbaceous plant pallet. This is the shady corner of the garden filled with ferns and grasses, huecheras, fothergillas and lots of logs and stumps.

The Sound Garden hosts several varieties of grasses which make a rattling or whispering sound in the wind. Just down from the sound area is the Taste Garden. We have delicious strawberry plants, herbs for use on the salads we make from our Vegetable Garden. Our pear tree has actually been growing in our yard for many many years. Our central Sight Garden is the biggest area and has the most variety of plants all picked for their visual interest. Phlox, Red and Yellow Twig Dogwoods, Autumn Sedums, Black-eyed Susans, Big Blues and Fire Mountain Andromedas add visual interest to our garden year round.

Last – don’t miss checking out our Rainbow Express Train which provides us with a flexible avenue for planting with our children. Five train cars are planted with each child’s favorite plant. The options for what we can do with these flexible beds are exciting to think about. The children get to have input into the garden as they learn about caring for plants and caring for our environment and appreciating the beauty of our Earth.

*Over the Rainbow Early Learning Center is a Certified National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitat Site.