You don’t have to have a big yard to get involved in gardening. It’s perfectly fine — and often wise — to start small, including growing flowers, vegetables and herbs in containers (even a child’s very own pots for planting).

Here are some options for your garden, but have your parents talk to garden center staffers for other ideas — such as what to plant to attract butterflies. Always read labels for instructions on when and how to plant, site selection, water and light requirements, etc.

— Sunflowers are a favorite. Cosmos and purple coneflowers are just a few other choices.

— Colorful edibles include tomatoes in different colors (orange, yellow, red). Lettuces come in different colors and textures. suggests checking out vegetables available in unusual colors, shapes and sizes. Speckled beans, for example. Don’t forget pumpkins.

— Lamb’s ear, a perennial with silver-gray foliage, is a kid pleaser because it feels soft and furry.

— Grow climbing beans up a tower made from poles tied at the top or another type of structure.

— Pizza gardens planted with tomatoes, basil and other toppings are popular — handy for make-your-own-pizza nights. offers ideas for planting other fun theme gardens, such as butterfly, rainbow, snack and salad gardens.

— Don’t forget other herbs: dill, parsley, chives, lemon balm, different mints.

— Think beyond plants. Get the family together to paint stones or flower pots for the garden.

Reminder: From an early age we need to learn never to eat anything from the garden (at home or elsewhere) without checking with a parent or supervising adult.

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