Gardening tips for tots dirt simple

Xanthe White helps Evangeline Clarke (3) plant a broad bean in a recycled plastic bottle during a gardening workshop at Helen Deem Kindergarten in St Clair, Dunedin. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Xanthe White helps Evangeline Clarke (3) plant a broad bean in a recycled plastic bottle during a gardening workshop at Helen Deem Kindergarten in St Clair, Dunedin. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
There was dirt in places that there probably should not have been at Helen Deem Kindergarten yesterday.

It was all over the St Clair-based kindy's floor, in children's pockets, even in one pre-schooler's ears.

The children were putting potting mix into recycled fizzy bottles and planting broad beans, as part of a gardening workshop with television personality and award-winning landscape designer Xanthe White.

Anytime there was dirt involved, children would play with it, she said.

The workshop was part of the Daltons Sunflowers in Kindys project which gave youngsters the opportunity to plant their own seeds, take care of them and learn about how plants grow.

Ms White said the main aim of the workshop was not only to show children how plants grew, but to make sure they understood the pleasures of gardening.

''There's a whole world underneath the top layer of ground.

''It's magical watching these brown seeds grow roots and then sprout out of the ground.''

Ms White hoped the project would help grow a whole new generation of gardeners in New Zealand.

''So many kids these days think vegetables are made at the supermarket.

''This lets them see it for themselves.''

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