Ideas for a swing set?

salem_girl(Zone 5a)October 11, 2004

Hi! This is my first post as I am new to the website. I just bought a house in Southern Wisconsin and I'm excited about new projects.

My gardening has been limited to small veggie gardens so I'm new to the world of gardening. I have had a few botany classes in college, but as most of you know you don't get your nails dirty in a classroom.

Anyway, the old owners left behind an old wood swing set. My daughter, quite the girly girl at 6 years old, was excited when I told her I thought I'd decorate it for her. I'd like something climbing that makes the swing set seem like her own little garden. (My veggie garden will be a few steps away) I have some things to consider also: I don't want to invade the neighbors, I don't want to keep my daughter away because of bees, I'd like something pleasing to the eye for myself, and I'd also prefer fairly low maintenance.

Can anyone help? I'm in zone 5a in Kenosha County, Salem, Wisconsin.

Thanks!!

Salem_girl

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cantstopgardening(Zone 4/5 WI)

Hey Salem girl, Welcome! I went to Salem Central High School. Beautiful area.

My daughter loved green beans (still does,) so she helped me create a bean teepee when she was six. The pole beans grew quite well on that. She could hide in there and eat them straight off the vine. (Her favorite method. Very fresh.) It could be fun to read Jack and the Beanstalk when you plant these. Bean seeds are very accomodating to young fingers. Some varieties have beautiful scarlet flowers, with amazing long bean pods. (Look in asian vegetable sections of garden catalogues.)

We also gorw beautiful morning glory vines outside her bedroom window, to shade her west bedroom wall. These reach the eaves before the end of summer, and come in beautiful girly-girl colors. You can even sow these now, as they have a hard seed coat, that overwintering helps to break. The morning glories do come back from seed on their own, so some people say they can spread, but I haven't had a problem with this. I do find them sprouting out of my compost the next year, from the discarded vines (well, from the seeds contained on those vines, actually.) But I find them to be easy to pull. Morning glories don't attract many bees, at least not in my yard. Humming birds like them though.

Have fun gardening with your daughter. My daughter still gardens with me, even though she's a teenager. The bugs have always been her favorite part. (And she's a real girly-girl too ;-)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2004 at 10:25PM
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salem_girl(Zone 5a)

Thank you! I may try the beans. I'm not a big fan of morning glories. I was hoping for something more exotic looking, but you say the bean plants have interesting red flowers? I'll check them out.

She'll be going to Central too...one day.

Thanks again,
Salem_girl

    Bookmark   October 13, 2004 at 2:17PM
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cantstopgardening(Zone 4/5 WI)

Most beans don't have red flowers. but you can find some in the garden catalogs that do. Try Park's seeds.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2004 at 6:43PM
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cantstopgardening(Zone 4/5 WI)

I just notived there is a vines forum. They might have some other ideas.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2004 at 9:40AM
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angel_z5

Consider grapes. Plant them at each leg. Makes an interesting arbor after a few years. By the time your daughter is no longer interested in swinging, you will have a grape arbor loaded with grapes. My parents did this, by the way.

Always an...Angel

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 9:37PM
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