living herbs

Directions and Plant Lists for 45 School Garden Themes.

Garden Themes for Kids -NC Cooperative Extension

1. ABC Garden


2. American History Garden 


 3. Art Garden

  • plants that can be used for art projects -i.e., dried flowers, flowers for pressing, interesting seed pods, and gourds
  • plants painted by famous artists such as Monet or van Gogh. poppies, sunflowers, tulips, lilac, irises, dahlias,  zinnias, nasturtiums, cosmos, hollyhocks, more than a dozen different roses, and bright red geraniums.

7iaR8MaiA4. Bird-friendly Garden7iaR8MaiA

  • Purple coneflower, sunflowers, milkweed, cardinal flower, trumpet honeysuckle, elderberry

 5. Butterfly Garden 


candy-cane116. Candy Land Favorite Board Gamecandy-cane11

  • Chocolate cosmos, ‘Peppermint stick’ zinnia, Chocolate mint, Fountain grass, Candytuft, Peppermint, Sweet alyssum, Candy corn plant, Ginger, Wild cinnamon, ‘Candy-stick’ tulip, Chocolate vine

121436412050058103Dwarf lake iris.svg.hi7. Cut Flower Garden121436412050058103Dwarf lake iris.svg.hi

  • peonies, calla lily, iris, delphinium, lady’s mantle, sweet pea

KLTdBrRi48. Dinosaur GardenKLTdBrRi4

  • primitive prehistoric plants, plants that have existed for millions of years: ferns, mosses, Ginkgo trees and cycads, like the sago palm, queen palms, asparagus ferns, gunnera

hot-pink-ball-of-yarn9. Dyers Gardenhot-pink-ball-of-yarn

  • natural colonial dye plants. Yellow dye: marigolds, dandelion, yarrow, sunflowers. Orange dyes: carrot roots, onion skin, butternut seed husks; Brown Dye: hollyhock petals, walnut husks, fennel. Pink dye: camellias, roses, lavender. Purple dye: blueberries, grapes, coneflowers, hibiscus.

strawberry10. Fruit Salad Gardenstrawberry

  • strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, melons and other fruits.

flower11. Edible Flower Gardenflower

  • pansies, calendula, dandelions, daylilies, rose, lavender, herb blossoms, violets, hibiscus, orange blossom, nasturtium

12. Ethnobotanical Garden

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log-md13. Habitat Gardenlog-md

  • salvia, roses, yarrow

 14. Herb Garden 

  • mints, basils, lemongrass, lavender, lemon balm, parsleys, catnip

dc9X5BKei15. Hummingbird Gardendc9X5BKei

  • bee balm, day lily, mandevilla, petunia, salvia

 16. Internat’l Multicultural

  • Asian: Bok Choy, Snow peas, Daikon Radish, Napa cabbage, Chinese eggplant, Yard long beans (bamboo ONLY in containers)
  • African: okra, greens, peppers, yams, cassava, and beans.
  • Hispanic: Cilantro, Jalapeno peppers, Chili peppers, tomatillo
  • Native American: corn, squash, beans
  • Thai: lemongrass

17. Jack and the Bean Stalk Garden

  • beans, beanstalk & giant
  • bean varieties
  • for giant:  large vegetables. e.g. gourds, melons, pumpkins, giant sunflowers and luffa. Or names that reflect their size. e.g. Giant Sunflower, Mustard ‘Red Giant’, ‘Giant Carentan’ Leeks, Snowpea ‘Melting Mammoth’ and ‘Giant of Italy’ Parsley. New Guinea Bean is an edible gourd that tastes like beans.

straw18. Jelly Gardenstraw

  • currents, elderberries, mulberries, rosehips, tart cherries

19. Kitchen Garden 

  • fruit and veggie garden featuring “vegetables” such as lettuce, carrots, and spinach as well as “fruits” (anything with a seed) such as squash, cucumbers, or eggplant

lemon20. Lemon Gardenlemon

  • lemon balm, lemon mint, lemongrass, lemon basil, lemon verbena, lemon thyme, lemon myrtle, lemon catnip, lemon tree

21. Literacy/Reading Garden

  • plants found in children’s literature such as “The Ugly Vegetables,” or “Growing Vegetable Soup”
  • gardens of American authors.
  • Junior Master Gardener Literacy.  Brother Eagle, Sister Sky; Miss Rumphius; The Gardener; Plantzilla; Tops & Bottoms; Weslandia By: Lisa Whittlesey, Randy Seagraves, Julie Ryan, Regina McAlonan. Certified Literature in the Garden

22. Math Garden


23. Maze Garden 

  • Create a maze in your garden using grasses, a hedge, sunflowers, or corn plants

musical-note424. Music Gardenmusical-note4


25. Nutrition Garden 


26. Outer Space Garden


27. Peter Rabbit Garden

  • Red fruited gooseberries, parsnip ‘Tender and True’, cucumber ‘Long White’ and cabbage ‘January King’ as found in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
  • Pear trees, parsley ‘Moss Curled’, lettuces, carnations and antirrhinums from The Tale of Benjamin Bunny.
  • From The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies there is lettuce ‘Paris White’, roses, pansies, marrows and French marigold ‘Legion of Honour’.

28. Pizza Garden


bee29. Pollinator Gardenbee

  • flower nectar and/or pollen, aromatic herbs (coriander, catnip, mint, parsley, lavender), annuals (marigold, phlox, bachelor’s button, zinnia, cosmos, salvia), and perennials (bee balm, Shasta daisy, iris, coneflower, lobelia, delphinium).
  • Nectar plants for Hummingbirds, Butterflies, and Bees:  Aster, Azalea, Butterfly bush, Butterfly weed and other milkweeds, Cardinal flower, Clover and other legumes, Columbine, Fuchsia, Honeysuckle, Jewel weed, Lupine, Penstemon, Phlox, Salvia, Trumpet creeper or vine, Weigela, Zinnia

jcxE9dkcE30. Rain GardenjcxE9dkcE

  • Rain gardens are gardens that are planted where rainwater is purposely channeled into the site. COMPLETE list of plants (trees, shrubs and perennials) for the three rain garden zones.

rainbow31. Rainbow Gardenrainbow

  • made with colorful plants, such as red tomatoes, orange carrots, yellow corn, blue berries, and purple plums helps children learn to discriminate using their senses.
  • Using fruits and veggies from all colors of the rainbow, create an edible garden. For added interest, shape the garden like a rainbow
  • Purple: eggplant, blackberries, grape, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, purple peppers, violets, iris, grape hyacinth, purple coneflower, purple fountain grass
  • Blue: blueberries, bellflower, aster, lupine, columbine, baptisia
  • Pink: beets, astilbe, bleeding heart, fuchsia, foxglove, petunia, impatiens
  • Red: strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, radish, raspberries, red pepper, red onions, petunia, cockscomb, geranium, dianthus, rose, snapdragon, tulip
  • Yellow: squash, banana pepper, sweet corn, rutabaga, yellow peppers,sunflower, marigold, coreopsis, chrysanthemum, goldenrod, daffodil
  • White: cauliflower, onion, potato, white corn, parsnips, sweet alyssum, Shasta daisy, moonflower, candytuft, nicotiana
  • Green: green beans, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, green pepper, cucumber, honeydew melon, artichokes, lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, leeks, scallions, okra, peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, jack-in-pulpit, green coneflower, green calla lily, hellebore
  • Orange: pumpkin, sweet potato, cantaloupe, butternut squash, carrot, poppy, nasturtium, marigold, daylily, zinnia, butterfly weed

32. Salsa Garden


bee333. Scratch n Sniff Gardenbee3

Furry, soft and silky plants Artemisia, Lamb’s ears, Mullein, Pussy willow, California poppy, Yarrow. Bumpy, tickly, and prickly plants Blue fescue, Northern sea oats, Fennel, Purple fountain grass, Roses, Purple coneflower, Sea holly, Hens-and-chicks, Pampas grass, Tickle me plant, Ferns. Smooth, spongy and playful plants Cork oak, Smoke tree, Snow-in-summer, Fuchsia, Snapdragons, Moss, Venus flytrap. Scented herbs and edible plants Various mint varieties, Curry plant, Thyme varieties, Sage, Chamomile, Lemon balm, Lavender, Sweet Annie, Orange tree, Lemon tree, Garlic. Aromatic flowering plants and trees Honeysuckle, Scented geraniums, Lily of the valley, Roses, Sweet peas, Heliotropes, Chameleon plant (colored foliage smells lemony), Lilac, Chocolate flower, Ginkgo tree (rotten egg smell), Voodoo lily, Stinking hellebore (aka: dungwort), Dutchman’s pipe vine.


34. Sensory Garden 

  • plants you can feel, smell, taste, touch and hear
  • Sight: Sunflowers, Pot marigold, Calendula; Chameleon plant, Swiss chard ‘Bright Lights’;  Heuchera ‘Chocolate Ruffles’ Sound: Greater quaking grass, flowers rustle in the wind; Love-in-a-mist,seed-heads that rattle when shaken.’Nanus Variegatus’; bamboo-like foliage creates a rustling noise; Sweet corn; another rustler and good to eat too! Larger bamboo canes are great for making wind chimes with. Touch: Lamb’s ears, silky foliage. Silver sage, cotton wool-like down; Jerusalem sage, soft, downy leaves and stems;’Commander Hay’; Leaves are rigid to the touch. African sundew,  glue-like substance on the surface of its leaves – watch out, it’s sticky to touch! Smell: Curry plant, curry-scented leaves give off a spicy aroma; Lavender, scent of an summer garden. Chocolate cosmos, chocolate/vanilla scent; Sweet pea, strong sweet scent. Pineapple sage, scent of pineapple. Scratch and sniff.Taste: Spearmint,  tastes great; Rosemary, highly fragrant tasteful; Nasturtium,peppery; Chives, onion taste;  Wild strawberry, small, sweet, delicious fruit.

soup35. Stone Soup Gardensoup

  • celery plant, carrot seeds (Mokum or Bolero), Onions, Potatoes (put in communal potato bed), 1 tomato plant (Oroma or other), Basil, Majoram, Parsley

36. Storybook Garden 

Wizard of Oz Garden – plant a Munchkin Garden with tiny plants or create a path lined with yellow plants to create the Yellow Brick Road. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Garden – include plants the Hungry Caterpillar eats on his way to becoming a butterfly. ‘Tom Thumb’, salad cress and spring onions. Princess and the Pea ‘Misty’ and ‘Sugar Ann’ which are lovely and sweet eaten raw.  Randomly scatter the pea seeds support the peas. Any twiggy sticks will do.


SGS_Graphic337. Sundial GardensSGS_Graphic3

  • plants that bloom at various times of day (morning glory, daylily, sunflower, 4 o’clocks, moonflowers).
  • plants that have set opening/closing times which can be used in your clock garden design: 6 a.m. – Spotted Cat’s Ear, Flax 7 a.m. – African Marigold, Lettuce 8 a.m. – Mouse-Ear Hawkweed, Scarlet Pimpernel, Dandelion 9 a.m. – Calendula, Catchfly, Prickly Sow 10 a.m. – Star of Bethlehem, California Poppies 11 a.m. – Star of Bethlehem Noon – Goatsbeard, Blue Passion Flowers, Morning Glories 1 p.m. – Carnation, Childing Pink 2 p.m. – Afternoon Squill, Poppy 3 p.m. – Calendula closes 4 p.m. – Purple Hawkweed, Four O’Clocks, Cat’s Ear 5 p.m. – Night Flowering Catchfly, Coltsfoot 6 p.m. – Moonflowers, White water lily 7 p.m. – White Campion, Daylily 8 p.m. – Night Flowering Cereus, Catchfly

38. Tea Garden 

  • herbal teas such as chamomile and mint, alternative tea plants from Boston Tea Party, Liberty Teas
  • plants for Herbal Teas & Sun Tea: Mint: Leaves — digestive and calming, Rose Hips — Buds once the bloom has expired, boost of Vitamin C,  Lemon Balm — Leaves, calming, Chamomile — Buds, relaxing, Echinacea — Buds, immunity, Milk Thistle — Buds, detoxification, Raspberry — Leaf, female reproduction, Lavender — Buds, calming, Red Clover — Buds, purify, Dandelion — Root, digestion,  Lemongrass: — Stalk, digestive, calming, Calendula

corn39. Three Sister’s Gardenscorn


pineapple40. Tutti Fruity Gardenpineapple


41. Vegetable Snack Garden

  • Carrots, Radishes, Tomatoes, children love to snack on cherry tomatoes, strawberries, or peas, cucumbers,

42. Wildlife Garden 

  • plants with seed heads that will naturally provide snacks for birds & squirrels, such as sunflowers and millet, American crabapple, Chokecherry, Persimmon, elderberry, daisies

tomato-hi43. Year-round Gardentomato-hi

  • perennials, evergreens, container gardens, cold season raised beds

caduceus-150x15044. Apothecary Gardencaduceus-150x150

  • thyme, peppermints, elderberry, hibiscus, turmeric root, ginger root, garlic, oregano, lemongrass, lavender, sage, ginkgo, echinacea , cayenne peppers, marigolds, lemon balm, dandelion, chamomile, calendula, cilantro, spearmint, parsley, basil, aloe, black sesame seed, eucalyptus, rosemary, onions, rose hips, celery, curry plant, helichrysum, red clover, marsh mallow

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bread3-240x12745. Ancient Grains Gardenbread3-240x127

  • amaranth, barley, sorgham, spelt, wheat, oats, millet, kamut, quinoa, einkorn, bulgur wheat, buckwheat, heirloom corns, popping corns, farro, flax, rye.

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