The Q&A Archives: Child-safe Gardening

Question: Could you give me some advice on planning a child friendly garden? My eldest child is disabled and puts most things into her mouth, including plants. I need a low maintenance and safe garden for her to use, which is also nice for the rest of the family. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Below is a web page of a listing of poisonous plants, from Cornell University. This should help you decide what plants to avoid.

Below is a web page for a list of edible flowers. I'm not aware of the foliage of any of these plants being poisonous, but I'm not absolutely sure.

Consider a combination of these edible flowers, plus some ornamental vegetables such as multicolored 'Bright Lights' Swiss chard and scarlet runner beans. You can mix is some of your favorite garden vegetables, for an attractive, safe, and productive garden.

You might find the following book helpful:

"Accessible Gardening for People With Physical Disabilities : A Guide to Methods, Tools, & Plants" by Janeen R. Adil

Also, you might enjoy these articles from NGA's "Growing Ideas" newsletter:

I hope this is helpful.

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