Of the many reasons Baby Boomers cite for “downsizing” their home or relocating to Georgia, “Closer to Family” tops the list nearly every time. And when they say “family,” Boomers almost always mean “grandchildren.”
From babysitting opportunities to lunch dates, sleepovers, and more, experts agree that intergenerational bonding is beneficial for both Boomers and grandchildren, alike, but finding activities that appeal to children at different ages can pose a bit of a challenge.
Gardening is one of those activities that toddlers through teens can enjoy alongside their grandparents, with the added benefit that there are truly fruits (or vegetables or flowers) of their labors to savor at the end of the season.
Vegetables & Fruits
The easiest foods to grow in a small space include tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and beans or peas. Choose flower pots or containers that can accommodate the roots (or, in the case of carrots, the whole vegetable), and a trellis for beans or cage for tomatoes to give them something to “climb” on.
Grandchildren (and adults!) of all ages enjoy watching the progress of the plant’s growth, and there is nothing quite so delicious as a tomato or string bean picked fresh from the garden.
Marigolds are easy to start from seed, as are sunflowers, and most wildflowers. Another option is to purchase seedlings from the local nursery (organic varieties are more widely available now). Flowers are not only pleasing to the eye, but certain flowers help combat pests (plant marigolds with your tomatoes for natural “pest control” against spider mites and some other insects), and can provide nectar essential for butterflies, honeybees, and hummingbirds.
They smell fabulous, and there’s no contest between store-bought/dried herbs and fresh-from-the-garden herbs in your favorite recipes. Grandchildren of all ages will enjoy oregano, basil, and parsley planted among tomatoes, especially when a garden-to-table pizza is the result!
Gardening with Grandma and Grandpa encourages even the most die-hard video game enthusiast to venture outdoors, and even “picky eaters” find it hard to resist eating a vegetable they’ve grown themselves.
At Windsong, every home features outdoor space – both a front porch and side courtyard – perfect for container gardening on a manageable scale. Whether you opt for a single pot of tomatoes or a virtual “farm” grown in raised beds, pots, or pallets, you’ll find that curiosity and an appreciation for fresh foods are among the things that grow.
Welcome to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!