Garden Organic are tasking children to create a rainbow from seeds, leaves or petals this month to show their support for NHS and key workers. I gave this fun task a go with my son…

You will need:

  • A list of the colours of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink.
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Glue stick
  • Petals, leaves or seeds

1. We decided to use only flower petals for our NHS rainbow. With our list in hand, we wandered around our front and back garden collecting from different flowers and plants. We collected bright red and pink geranium petals, pale rose blossoms for yellow and petunia flowerheads for the purple. Clematis provided the violet, and we chose the bracts of sunflowers for green. Orange was trickier in our garden, so we combined young, variegated holly leaves (more rubbery than prickly!) with dried sunflower petals.

2. It’s best to collect the petals when the weather is dry. (Though we discovered wet petals make fantastic dyes!) It’s such a lovely, relaxing activity to do with your children, and a good time for a bit of stealth teaching. My son and I discussed the fact flowers come in all sorts of amazing shapes and arrangements. There’s a great guide to flowerhead types here.

Ex Blue Peter gardener, Chris Collins, Head of Organic Horticulture at Garden Organic, suggests you could also try sowing some rainbow flowers with your children. Good choices include nasturtium (which are edible too), pot marigolds, sunflowers, asters and cosmos.

Chris says: “Children love nothing more than getting their hands in the soil and getting them dirty. Buy them some seeds, preferably organic and get them started. There is still plenty that can be sown this time of year.” 

3. Once we’d collected our finds into colour groups, we drew a rainbow on paper with a pencil. We used a glue stick to start sticking our petals on to the paper, gradually building up our picture.

4. Finally, once it was dry, we popped our rainbow in our window so passers-by could see it. We hope it helps celebrate our hard working NHS and keyworkers.

I’d love to know if you get involved with this fun task from Garden Organic. The organic gardening charity have lots more ideas to get children interested in the garden. Find activity sheets for parents and schools at gardenorganic.org.uk/children.

Like this? Dig into my blog on ways to get the kids gardening!