Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 412

The Summer Garden


Hello Everyone



Did you have a nice Christmas? l hope so.


My family had a nice time.


Nowadays, many people have a lot of time off from work to have a good rest in the miserable, winter weather.


ln years gone by, people maybe only had a couple of days off from work if they worked in an office and today that is true if they work in a shop. 


Back in the time when a lot of people were in service (about a hundred years ago and more) – that means that they were servants in a big house, they had Boxing Day off to go and visit their own family. 


That is where the name Boxing Day comes from.


The servants were given a box with the presents from their employer.


What do you usually do on Boxing Day?


Some people spend it playing games with their families or asleep in front of the television.  Some people spend it deciding where they will go on their summer holiday and some people spend it looking at seed catalogues planning for the new growing season.


For children who want to grow a flower garden this coming summer there are really easy ways to do it.


One way is to sow seeds; and if you choose annuals they will grow into flowering plants in just a few weeks.


Here’s how you do it…


Hardy annuals should be sown directly into the soil where you want them to grow.  The soil has to be prepared by being raked so that it is broken into a fine tilth.  (Hardy means tough.)


lf you have a no dig policy in your garden, this is the time of year you should covering your beds with compost that is ready to use from your heap.  


A 5-10 cm covering of compost on top of your garden will be a good medium to put seeds into.  You don’t need a ruler to measure it – just do it by eye.


You can also start designing your flower beds now too.


Put the tallest flowers at the back and aim to have a good mix of colours.


Packets of seeds will tell you how tall your flowers are likely to grow and what colours they will be.


ln early spring, start preparing your bed for sowing. Mark out blocks of soil with a pointy stick or some sand trickled out between your fingers.  Make some curved lines – don’t let all of them be straight.


Make drills inside the areas you have marked out– that means tiny channels with your stick or the end of a cane or garden tool.  Then sprinkle seeds thinly into the drills and cover them up and water them in.


You need to pick a dry day to do this.  There will be no pleasure in gardening in heavy, wet soil on a cold, miserable day.


Create drills going in different directions within each block of soil. Use one packet to fill each area.


Some flowers, like poppies, don’t like being transplanted so it really will be better to sow them outside in the garden rather than sow them in seed trays first.


When little green shoots begin to show, pull out any weeds you see while they are still small. 


You can see which seedlings are weeds because they won’t be growing in rows. 


Your flower plants will all have the same leaves.  lf your flowers look too crowded as they grow, you can transfer them to any patches of bare soil where nothing has come up. ln this way you will create a natural looking garden.  There is no need to waste your plants.


lf you do not have a garden but you have room for some pots, you can sow annuals in them instead.  Don’t muddle too many types of flowers together because this won’t produce a good result.


Another good way to grow flowers for summer is to plant summer flowering bulbs.


Most like to be planted in full sun and sheltered from wind.  The soil must be free-draining but if you have heavy soil, add coarse sand or grit to it to help water drain away.


Bulbs should be planted in mid spring as soon as they are available in garden centres.  Dig a hole with a trowel and sprinkle a little sand in the base of the hole before positioning the bulb with its point at the top.


Cover the bulb and mark where you have planted them with a label so you don’t forget where they are and absent-mindedly dig them up again!


Again bulbs and corms can be grown in pots.


You can choose from lilies, alliums, freesias, crocosmia, iris and many more.


The general rule of thumb – that is probably a green thumb 😉 – is to plant bulbs in a hole about 2 – 3 times the height of the bulb.


Lastly, the quickest way to create a summer garden is to buy bedding plants – but these flowers will be much more expensive than growing them from seed.


Many bedding plants don’t like the frost, so cannot be planted out until early summer.  lf you buy your plants before the end of May, harden them off before planting them out in the garden.


That means you should keep them in a conservatory or greenhouse overnight and leave them out in the sunshine and rain during the day time.


Prepare the ground before planting the young plants out into flower beds.  Remove weeds, rake over the soil adding some food for your plants as you do so.


Make a hole for each plant with a trowel and put the plants into the soil quickly when you remove them from their pot or tray.  Their roots should not be left exposed to the air otherwise they will dry out.


Water your plants in with a fine spray and keep watering them during dry spells. Only water early in the morning or in the evening but not when the hot sun is shining on them.


lf you want to put your bedding plants in pots or hanging baskets, they will need to be watered just about every day.


Sitting in a colourful garden is a wonderful way to relax after a hard day at school – especially if you know you have designed it and planted it yourself.


And planning for it is a nice thing to do on a grey and miserable January day!



lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill:  Why aren’t you doing your homework Bob?


Bob:  l am too confused!


Bill:  Why are you confused?


Bob:  l think l have too many tabs open in my brain!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery


Pink clarkia is easy to grow from seed


So are blue cornflowers


Crocosmia grow from corms







This week, I took Bill and Bob for a walk through the woods behind Auntie Alice’s cottage.  We are very lucky that we have lots of lovely country pathways to walk on in Rocky Bay.

Even people living in cities usually have a park of some kind nearby that they can visit.

Human beings have lived surrounded by nature or at least had it quite close for most of their existence on Earth – for millions of years.  It is only in the last couple of hundred years that they have been cooped up in large, industrial cities.

People in cities can suffer from anxiety and depression because they are suffering from something called nature deficit disorder. It is caused by being disconnected from nature.

Scientists say that we must all spend at least two hours in nature every week for our health and sense of well-being.  More than two hours would be even better if that is possible.  They have also found that too much screen time stunts brain growth whereas fresh air and sunshine helps brain growth.

It does not have to be in a chunk of two hours – it can be say, four half-hour sessions a week.  You need to be outside for at least fifteen minutes.

To love the living world or to be out in nature is called biophilia.

Some people like sun bathing, some like forest bathing, and some like moon bathing!

Walking out in natural daylight is good for you.  It helps you to look upwards at the clouds and the leaves above you if you feel depressed. 

Practising mindfulness while you are there helps reduce anxiety too.  That means taking notice of all the sights and sounds and smells you can sense around you.

When you walk out in nature your neo-cortex shuts down a little – this is the thinking part of your brain and so giving this part of your brain a little rest helps with anxiety.

Nature calms, soothes and at the same time refreshes and energizes people of all ages whether they be old or young, ill or well.

This is because nature exists at a high-frequency energy level and to be immersed in that energy field has huge benefits for humans. 

You also ground yourself – in the electrical sense, by being in contact with the earth.  This helps your immune system and brings you to good health.

Scientists have even found out that trees emit (give out) chemicals which make humans feel good!













Quick Quiz


Plants usually have Latin names and common ones too.  These are easier for us to remember.  Do you know what these words mean when you see them on plant labels?


To understand these words will give you good guidance, if you want to be a good gardener.


  1. albus
  2. alpinus
  3. augustifolius
  4. chinensis
  5. denticulata
  6. fragrans
  7. glaucus
  8. grandifolius
  9. maritimum
  10. nanus
  11. officinalis
  12. repens
  13. scandens
  14. sempervirens
  15. tenax
  16. tortuosus
  17. utilis
  18. variegatus
  19. vernalis
  20. vulgaris







lt’s the Weekend!




Does your doll ever go to the stables to care for her horse?

She will need to wear boots and she will need to carry them.

It is not easy to walk everywhere in riding boots or drive in wellington boots, so this boot-shaped boot bag will be very useful to have.

Knit the centre gusset if you want a wide bag; and don’t, if you want a smaller and simpler bag.


There are some dungarees to make on Blog Post 401.



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch


Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next row, knit to end

Decrease 1 stitch at the end of the next purl row by knitting 2 stitches together purlwise


Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch


Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch


Decrease 1 stitch at the end of the next knit row by knitting 2 stitches together

Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next purl row


Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch


Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 5 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch


Knit 50 rows of stocking stitch


Knit 2 rows of garter stitch


Cast off



Sew the side seams of the bag right sides together with the gusset between the side pieces.

Turn the bag right sides out.

Make a strap with an end of the yarn and neaten all ends.



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. albus – white
  2. alpinus – alpine – in the wild it lives on mountainsides
  3. augustifolius – narrow-leaved
  4. chinensis – from China
  5. denticulata – toothed
  6. fragrans – has a fragrance – is scented
  7. glaucus – blue-grey
  8. grandifolius – large-leaved
  9. maritimum – found growing near the sea, will do well in salt-laden air
  10. nanus – dwarf
  11. officinalis – for medical use
  12. repens – creeping
  13. scandens –climbing
  14. sempervirens – evergreen
  15. tenax – tough
  16. tortuosus – twisted
  17. utilis – useful
  18. variegatus – variegated – has different colours, usually in patches but could be in streaks
  19. vernalis – of spring
  20. vulgaris – common


Variegated hosta leaves – the green leaves are edged with white

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