Smoothie planters in the garden

4-H Children’s Gardens adds new Breakfast Garden

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Smoothie planters in the garden

Many of us likely recall being told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. To highlight the importance of starting the day off right, the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden now features a theme garden dedicated entirely to the first meal of the day.

The Breakfast Garden features plants that go into making our breakfasts, including a coffee plant, pomegranate, orange, maple, pancake, tomatoes, peppers and chives. In addition, four smoothie planters were added which feature some of the popular smoothie flavors including: a tropical smoothie, strawberry-banana smoothie, green smoothie and smoothie grains.

“We had a Cereal Bowl Garden and the space next to it has traditionally been planted in a fall perennial aster that was not very exciting,” explained Norm Lownds, Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens curator. “As we were working in the garden we started talking about what to plant in that area and decided that we could expand beyond the cereal bowl to the entire breakfast. It then only took us a few minutes to come up with a list of possible plants. Once we were that far we had to do it.”

The smoothie planters were a donation from Earth Box many years ago, however the Breakfast Garden is in need of a sponsor. If interested in sponsoring this garden, contact

In addition, a few updates and restorations were also completed in the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens over the summer bringing the garden to its natural splendor.

The planter boxes were replaced and a self-portrait station was added to the Sunshine Garden Gallery wall. The gate to Bogue Street, the benches in the Friends Terrace and the spitting frogs gate were all repainted.

As part of one of the National Science Foundation (NSF) grants garden staff are collaborating on, a Smell Scavenger Hunt has been added through the garden. It has been very popular and is getting more and more visitors to stop and smell the flowers (and the leaves). In addition, more QR codes will be added to the signs so that visitors can discover even more information if they are interested.

Over the summer the family programs had a different emphasis each month with activity bags given out to visitors, a StoryWalk book that connected to each theme and additional online materials, information, and activities. These self-guided programs have worked well and have been very well-received by 4-H Children’s Gardens visitors.