As we kick off our new ‘KIDS IN THE GARDEN’ series, what better day than WORLD BEE DAY!
The purpose of the international day is to acknowledge the role of bees and pollinators and their significance for the ecosystem. Little ones love to learn about the importance of preserving honey bees. And what better way than going outside and getting your hands dirty!
What can we do? Luckily, helping to save the bees could be as easy as making a few changes to your garden, by planting bee-friendly shrubs or flowers. We love planting herbs. They truly are multi-purpose, decorating your garden, flavouring your food and providing for the bees of course.
Plus they are easy to propagate from cuttings which makes it very cost-effective. Let us show you how.
Make a 8-10 cm cutting from a mature rosemary plant. Remove the leaves from the bottom two-thirds of the cutting leaving at least five or six leaves.
You could place the cutting directly in a pot with well draining soil. We prefer to put the cuttings in a glass with a bit of water, in a warm spot. This way the little ones can monitor the progress of the growing herbs.
Within a few days, the rosemary cuttings start growing roots. Get the kids to change the water every couple of days. By including them, they feel a sense of purpose and the tactile experience makes learning much more fun and lasting.
Once your cuttings have ample roots, you can plant them out. Start with a few stones at the bottom of your pot, and then use a soil mix that drains well. Picking up stones and scooping soil is great for fine motor skills. Scooping up soil between their hands, practices bilateral integration, a crucial skill needed for reading later. Let them use a pencil to make a hole in the soil. Place the cutting gently in the hole, to avoid damaging the roots. Cover gently and water thoroughly.
Place the newly potted rosemary plant in indirect sunlight until roots become established, and then move to direct light, at least 6 to 8 hours per day. Keep the soil moist.
Once your rosemary is an established plant, it is quite hardy.
If you have eager little helpers in the garden, don’t worry, because the more frequently you trim, the bushier the plant grows!
Rosemary has a range of health benefits and is so versatile to use in the kitchen. Add flavour to meats and roast potatoes, and bring out the natural sweetness in vegetables.
We hope that you will have little visitors in your garden soon! Remember to make a water station for the bees by using a shallow bowl and stepping stones, so the bees can drink comfortably without landing in the water.