Updated: Feb 12, 2021
(I sang that title a little!)
Snapdragons or...if we want to get technical...Antirrhinums are just the cutest flower ever....I'm not saying it's the most beautiful (although it is very pretty) but I am making the big bold claim that it is super super cute!
Who can resist gently squeezing the flower heads together to make them look like a teeny tiny dragon having a conversation with you?
Gardening with children is all about letting their imaginations grow alongside the flowers, my passion for flowers grew from a very young age; turning Sweetpea petals into flower fairy skirts, having Daisy Chain competitions with my siblings, growing the tallest Sunflower...and of course squeezing Snapdragons to make them smile at me!
One of my absolute passions is encouraging children to grow flowers...as well as being a fun activity, it teaches children how to care for something, giving the responsibility, they learn the process from tiny seed to beautiful flower and when they sown that seed themselves it gives them a huge sense of pride!
It also gives them a chance to experience garden wildlife, bugs, butterflies & bees...so really is an amazing opportunity for Parents to teach the importance of all our systems and how we rely on nature for planet survival....and last but not least (and a subject I definitely want to go into with more depth one day) if we allow our children to develop a passion for British grown flowers then they in turn will become adults who want to grow flowers, since the 70's Britain has lost many established flower growers and so our environmental footstep just for a bunch of Roses or Lily's is actually huge.....LETS BRING BACK BRITISH FLOWERS!
As you can see the seeds are teeny tiny!
smaller than a grain of sand! So not only is growing snapdragons a lesson in horticulture, its a great way to teach your child fine motor skills, attention to detail (& not sneezing in the wrong direction haha)
They like a sunny position in any garden soil (they also do really really well in large tubs so its quite a nice idea to allow your child to have a large plant pot that is solely their responsibility)
WHEN TO GROW
Sow your seeds indoors (windowsill or propagator) anytime between January & March
*WHAT YOU NEED
*Seed Tray....if you don't have a seed tray you can actually look into your recycling box and see what you can find...juice boxes lying flat with the top cut off, old trays from takeaways etc...just make sure that you pierce a few drainage holes into the bottom
*Compost (you can get this from any garden centre or most supermarkets)
*A clear polythene bag
HOW TO GROW
Fill your seed tray with compost & sow there seeds thinly on the surface of the soil....you don't actually have to cover these seeds...they are so teeny that they naturally just snuggle down into the soil themselves.
Pop the tray carefully inside the polythene bag (this acts as a small greenhouse keeping your babies warm inside) & place on a warm & sunny windowsill.
Do not over water! too much water can kill your seeds as easily as not enough....a really easy way to do this is once every few days just check that the soil hasn't dried out completely and then gently spray with a mister (these are incredibly cheap to buy from supermarkets etc....they are like the ones a hairdresser uses to dampen down our unruly locks!....or is that just me?)
After a few weeks your seedlings will be strong enough to be moved into pots so that they don't fight for space in the tray...gently take each one out of the tray and pop it into its own pot (you should have enough compost from the bag you bought to start the seedlings off to fill the pots, and ask around on your Facebook market place for any pots to save buying any...there are plenty of gardeners who have piles of them hanging around their sheds & greenhouses)
Once all the risks of any more frosts have disappeared you can then plant on into the garden or large pots ...(surprisingly there have been some years that this hasn't been until May! Old school gardening says that you should put a plant in the ground until it is warm enough to sit on with a bare bottom....you will be happy to hear that this isn't a necessary part of the process and not one that I have done since i was about 2 years old!)
If this is an activity you are doing with your children then let them reap the benefits....sometimes we don't want them to pick flowers but can you imagine the pride on their little faces when they walk up to you with a bunch of flowers that they have grown themselves....why not grow a pot of your own alongside theirs and try to persuade them not to pick from yours?
I have Antirrhinum seeds for sale on my website, so popover to have a browse and send me a message if there is anything you would like a little help or advice with.
Have a fabulously beautiful day