Holly has suddenly become very keen on cookery so she has started her own indoor herb garden. We've encouraged both of the girls into the kitchen from a VERY young age but traditionally it has been Holly's big sister who wants to help us with the cooking. Recently, Holly has shown an interest and often volunteers to chop vegetables or mix things for us and she is eager to learn about new ingredients. That's why, when the new Balconera 50 Lechuza planter arrived, I knew that I wanted to offer it to Holly as a place where she could grow her own ingredients that we can cook together when they're ready.
Over the years I've extolled the virtues of gardening with children as a great way of learning and developing fine motor skills. At this time of year it is far too chilly for us to be digging in the garden with the girls but we do like to keep a few pots of herbs growing inside on the window-ledge throughout the winter months. So I tasked Holly with planting up a decorative, yet edible planter full of herbs that we can eat.
Lechuza planters are clever things. After the first week, they effectively become self-watering. This is fabulous for when you are planting with kids because it means that you don't have to remember to water every day, and you don't risk over-watering (this is a very real risk when Holly has anything to do with it!). You can use Lechuza planters indoors or outdoors (there is a little plug in the bottom that you remove for use outdoors to allow rain water to drain away).
Holly first of all sprinkled a thin layer of special Lechuza-Pon (a mix of fertiliser and volcanic rocks to help hold and distribute water). Then a layer of potting compost onto which she placed her different herbs. She had great fun squeezing the leaves of each of the plants and sniffing them so that she could guess which they were. At present she can only recognise the smell of mint but with time I'm sure she'll learn the smells of the other plans - basil, thyme and parsley. Holly used her hands to top up the planter with compost and then gave it a really generous watering. This week we watered the herbs as we normally would, but from today onwards we can simply fill the reservoir and the plants will water themselves when they're thirsty!
Holly's brightly coloured Balconera planter has now taken its place on the kitchen window-ledge. With the right attachments, I'm sure that it could serve as a real window box over the summer months. Either way, it is right there in the kitchen where Holly can choose to snip some herbs to include when we are cooking together.
The Balconera planter comes in either a 50cm or 80cm width and this smaller size is available in 6 different colours. The inside planter lifts easily out so that you can transport it around the house or garden and you could easily swap colours depending on your mood!!!