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15 Fun Garden Themes To Inspire Your Next Family Garden Project

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

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Not all gardens are created equal. While some are simple yet elegant, others are over the top and extravagant. But no matter the size or design, the best gardens have one thing in common: they connect us.

Magical gardens let you turn your backyard into something extraordinary. From fairy tales to stories to favorite vacations abroad, you can use garden themes to inspire your ideas. You'll want to consider which types of plants are well suited for your climate and how much time you want to spend caring for them. With a bit of research and creativity, you can transform your outdoor space into a magical place for family memories. Picking a theme for your next garden project can be as easy as pie. But, it can also be as complex and creative as you want it to be. But here are 15 themes to get your creative juices flowing!


1. Fairy Garden Fairy gardens can be as simple or elaborate as you like, and you can use anything for your fairy garden. You can get mini figurines, premade to create a fun and simple play garden, or you can get into the true spirit of fairy gardens and use natural materials only to craft your fairy garden.

For example, create a cottage with a chimney pot and a door out of an old pair of shoes. A little moss makes the perfect lawn, and succulents make great trees.

Use an old teapot or broken coffee mugs as unique planters.


You could also create a fairy village, complete with a café and shops, which would keep the kids busy for hours. Colorful flowers can help attract fairies to your garden. Try pansies, petunias, lantana, and lobelia for their

bright colors, or try growing weeds such as dandelions and buttercups - they may be considered annoying pests in other parts of the garden. Still, they will add color to your fairy garden. All in all, there's no real wrong way to make your fairy garden. Have fun with it and let the children's imagination guide you.

Faeries, come, take me out of this dull world,For I would ride with you upon the wind, Run on the top of the dishevelled tide, And dance upon the mountains like a flame!

~William Butler Yeats, "The Land of Heart's Desire," 1894

This cute book is PERFECT if you want to learn more about creating a fairy garden that will bring whimsy and joy to your garden all summer long. We checked it out from the library last spring and it was a huge hit!


2. Sensory Garden : The sights and smells of a sensory garden can help soothe, calm and bring pleasure and regulation to people of all ages. And when kids are in charge of which textures go into their garden, be more connected and excited to care for their plants.

-Sight: Plant color combinations that are pleasing to the eye. Dappled shade from trees, shrubs, and vines. Water features. Garden art such as statues, birdbaths, or gazing balls.

-Texture: Plants with different textures such as soft lambs ear or spiky aloe vera. -Sound: Windchimes, bells, fountains, or trickling water features. Birdhouses or birdbaths attract birds that sing. -Taste: Plants and edible herbs such as basil, chives, mint, rosemary, sage, or thyme. Easy-to-grow vegetables like tomatoes or cucumbers can be harvested by hand without a knife. -Smell: Flowers with pleasant fragrances such as lilac bushes, roses, or jasmine vines. Fragrant herbs (see above under Taste). Aromatic plants like eucalyptus and lavender.


3. Rainbow garden: Kids love exploring color, so why not plant a garden following all the colors of the rainbow?

This is an excellent theme for families who want to introduce their kids to flower gardening, which works well for edible gardens. To create an edible rainbow garden, choose plants that bear fruit from each of the primary color groups: red (tomatoes), orange (peppers or carrots), yellow (squash), blue/purple (eggplant), green (lettuce or peas).


4: Moonlight garden: White plants that bloom at night, such as moonflowers, Sweet-scent Jasmine, or Angel's Trumpets (Brugmansia), are beautiful in the evening. This is especially nice if you have a patio that overlooks your garden.


5: Butterfly garden: Plant colorful flowers such as zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers, milkweed, and more to

attract butterflies.

It would help to plant some flowers that butterflies like to lay their eggs on for caterpillars to eat when they hatch. Plus Milkweed is reallly beautiful to watch grow and develop throughout the summer.


6. Breakfast Garden : Plant things that you eat for breakfast, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and other fruits and herbs like mint leaves that can be used in your tea. You can even include edible flowers you can pick and add straight to your breakfast in the morning!


7. Pizza garden: Plant tomatoes, peppers, basil, and oregano to create an edible pizza garden. You can even add some crazy toppings like squash blossoms or eggplant. Your kids will love to eat what they planted! Here's a fun kit with all the seeds you need to get started!


8. Cut Flower Garden: If you want a simple family garden theme, try creating a cut flower garden. You can grow flowers that you can pick and add in vases around the house. This is a great way to decorate your home for various holidays and events, and kids will enjoy picking the flowers and learning about them. My favorite cut flowers: -Zinnias -Cosmos -Echinacea/Cone Flowers -Black-Eyed Susans

[Grab your own adorable personalized harvest basket l like the one you see above from Pinecone Home here. They're a small family-owned shop, and their kiddos HAPPEN to be two of my students here at Playful Acre. I love supporting local small business owner parents to chase their dreams while providing a safe place for their kiddos]


9. Salsa garden:

Plant cilantro, tomatoes, peppers, onions and make fresh, delicious all summer long. Here's a set of all the seeds you need to get started.


10. Dinosaur garden: Plant big plants that look like they belong in Jurassic Park. Plant giant leaves like Elephant ear, Swiss chard, kale, and other fun veggies like purple carrots and yellow zucchini. You can also incorporate Dinosaur figurines and other cute decor to help bring your dinosaur theme to life and bring excitement and keep your little dinosaur lover engaged and involved all season.


11. Alphabet Garden: Plant herbs and vegetables that start with each letter of the alpha et (except X). You can even teach your children the ABCs while in the garden. There are plenty of plants that start with X, but none grow on their own in North America. So instead, you can use Xanthosoma, an ornamental elephant ear plant typically grown indoors, or Xerophyllum asphodeloides, a type of wildflower that grows in the western U.S.

Make sure you label your plants when you do this, creating your own at-home botanical garden! You can use simple plant markers, or get creative with painted stones at home! I'll be back with a how-to after we do our own this spring!!


12. Smoothie Garden:

A smoothie garden is a great way to get your kids excited about fresh, healthy fruits and veggies. From kale to strawberries to cucumbers, a smoothie garden teaches kids about growing produce and the importance of a healthy diet. So pick your favorite smoothie ingredients and get to planting!


13. Bunny Garden:

Create a bunny garden if you want a whimsical theme. For example, you can create rabbit-shaped beds or use plants rabbits like to eat, such as parsley, dandelions, radishes, and leaf lettuce. The whole family will enjoy watching bunnies visit the garden searching for food!


14. Salad Garden:

Grow a salad garden that you can pick right out of the ground and put onto your plate for dinner. You can make this as big or as small as you want, grow your favorite type of lettuce, or grow a couple of varieties to get started. Plant lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and more in your garden bed so you can harvest them for dinner every night this summer!


15. Tea Party Garden:

Do you love tea? Then why not plant a tea party garden filled with ingredients for tea and a quiet, peaceful setting with a table and whimsical colors to enjoy afternoon tea. Be sure to include mint, lemon balm, lavender, strawberries, and other delectable plants that can be turned into tea or a sweet treat.

“Yes, that’s it! Said the Hatter with a sigh, it’s always tea time.”

– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Bonus!!! If you're ready to start seeds but don't have the extra room inside until frost is clear, grab this perfect l little greenhouse! I got one as a gift for Christmas from my wonderful Aunt and Uncle and my kitchen table is happy this year not to sacrifice itself to the seed trays!


Now that you have all these great design ideas, what should be your first step? Our fun Kids Garden Journal will help you turn one of our unique garden themes into a realistic design This is a great place to start so that you can keep track of your ideas and bring them to life in your very own garden and help get the kids invested and involved all summer long.


Tell us in the comments your favorite theme, and tag us in your garden pictures this spring and summer on Instagram and Facebook @playfulacre and we will share your brilliant and beautiful gardens to inspire families around the world!

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