It's the start of the school holidays and long days and weeks ahead with the children and there is not a better way to spend than allowing the children to play there part in the garden taking ownership of a particular area or perhaps allowing them to use their initiative and redesign your garden.

Gardening isn’t easy for any of us and as we know it can have its frustrations so maybe start with some simple tasks to encourage the children to stay involved. They will come across a number of obstacles, from pests to bad weather. Be patient with them and encourage them to do the same and enjoy the journey.

There is a lot to learn and remind them there are thousands of plants and many different varieties of each, all with different weather, soil, light and water needs, perhaps encourage them to look up different plant families.

You can encourage them to experiment and treat each plant as an experiment. If something didn't work well, try something different. In order to not repeat mistakes encourage them to take good notes, keep a journal of what they planted: how, when, where and the weather conditions.

Make sure they plan the space they are allocated, perhaps a visit to the garden centre and purchase some common summer bedding plants with lots of colour and allow them to plant in a prominent spot in your garden or pots.

You may decide to either focus on the aesthetic view of the garden by choosing and planting summer bedding in pots or borders. If you are preparing areas it is important to have as weed free as possible by digging over the plot and breaking up the soil to a fine tilth and adding in some compost before and at the time of planting. Remember to water well after planting.

It is a good idea to plant or sow something in the veg plot that you will be able to harvest and perhaps cook at meal time such as potatoes. Most plants and vegetables require sowing in spring so if you haven't done this perhaps start to plan for doing this next spring during school spring break. Plan your garden year round and include such things as potatoes and rhubarb that can be sown in spring and enjoyed when harvested and eaten. There is still time to have a go at growing potatoes either in a grow bag or in the plot.

It is possible to buy some veg plants from garden centres who have grown from seed and ready to plant for a crop, tomato plants are good and easy to grow with many different varieties to choose from. Another option is to buy 'late season' strawberry plants to grow in the garden, hanging baskets or force them along in the greenhouse if possible. Strawberry plants naturally hang done therefore growing in pots or containers are ideal, they will need careful feeding with high potash fertiliser like a tomato feed and this is required on a weekly basis and avoid nitrogen feeding as this will only encourage leafy growth whereas potash is good for development of the fruit.

Happy Holidays.