Large Plants for Kids' Gardens

Oversized plants do not require huge gardens, and this bold planting scheme can actually make a small garden look bigger than one planted up with lots of small plants.
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©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

The Giant Garden

Large plants that tower over little people can be a wonderful addition to a children's garden. Gunnera is the biggest and most impressive and should be given center stage, with other plants complementing it -- some in the ground, some in pots -- as shown here.

Purple Plumes

Astilbe x arendsii are clump-forming perennials that feature graceful fern-like mounds of leaves and tiny flowers densely packed into erect to arching plume-like flower panicles rising above the foliage on slender, upright stems.

'Red Star' Swords

Cordyline australis 'Red Star' features burgundy-red sword-like leaves making it a good choice as a focal point in the landscape or in large containers. Fragrant white flowers top stems in early summer.

Giant Rhubarb

Gunnera manicata, or giant rhubarb, is a hardy plant that will have a huge impact on a garden. It can be as high as 10 feet and as wide as 13 feet. The plant is not related to rhubarb and is not edible.

Shiny Superplant

Fatsia japonica is a popular deep-shade-loving southern landscape shrub. The shiny green palmate leaves are bordered with a heavy white speckling. Flowers are white and form on a white stalk in small terminal clusters.

Spiky Star

Cordyline australis 'Variegata' is a New Zealand cabbage palm with cream streaks on its long, spiky leaves. It grows well in subtropical climatic conditions.

Towering Tree

Catalpa bignonioides is a a medium-sized tree with spreading branches and an irregular crown. It features showy white flowers with purple streaks that appear in branched, upright clusters in late spring.

Next Up

Family Planting: Tropical Garden

A tropical border is one of the most exciting plantings, filled with bold, colorful plants and reminiscent of a child’s fantasy jungle.

Family Gardening: Create a Miniature Garden

Using small plants to make a miniature garden fires the imagination and reduces the garden to a child’s scale. Plastic farm or jungle animals, fairies, or dinosaurs bring the scene to life. 

Family Planting: The Giant Garden

Large plants that dwarf little people can be a wonderful addition to a children’s garden.

Family Planting: Butterfly Garden

If you have a sunny, sheltered border, you have the makings of a butterfly garden. Here's what you need to get started.

Family Gardening: Growing Sunflowers

Sunflowers are colorful giants and are one of the first flowers many children will recognize. A sunflower-growing competition appeals to any age of gardener. 

How to Plant in Gardening Containers

To ensure that plants in gardening containers grow and perform as well as possible, you need to plant them properly.

Shade Gardening Secrets

Learn how to choose shade-tolerant plants for your garden.