Junior Gardener Badge Activity
Design a Dream Garden
Find out what it’s like to be a garden designer as you create a magical garden getaway.
Time needed: 30 minutes
- Magazines or catalogs with pictures of flowers, trees, shrubs, plants, and vegetables
- 3–5 large sheets of blank paper
- A pencil
- Markers, colored pencils, or crayons
- Tape or glue
Setup: The first gardens on record were planted 4,000 years ago. We know that well-designed gardens can be magical and make us feel happy and inspired. Find pictures of gardens online or in magazines/catalogs that you can use for this project. Be ready to share how the gardens pictured make you feel.
Activity: There are many types of gardens, from formal ones in places like France to vegetable gardens in our own backyards to exotic botanical gardens in cities like New York. In this activity, you’ll design your dream garden!
1. Think about which kinds of gardens you’ve visited. What did you like about them? How did they make you feel?
2. Find pictures of gardens online or in magazines/catalogs. In particular, look for diverse, interesting gardens with paths, seating, other unique features, and a variety of plants and flowers. You might also look for specialty gardens, like a community vegetable garden, a butterfly garden, or a bee-keeper’s garden.
3. Look the pictures you’ve collected, and ask yourself how they make you feel. What special features do they have?
4. Make a list of your favorite things about each garden. Pay special attention to the different colors, patterns, and shapes you see.
5. If you could create your dream garden, where would you put it? It could be in your neighborhood; in your backyard; on a rooftop; at your school; at your church, synagogue, or mosque; or in a special spot in your community. Picture that place in your mind. Is it flat or on a slope? How big is it?
6. Use a pencil and one of the big sheets of paper to map out the design of your dream garden. Be sure to consider whether it needs walking paths, seats, sculptures, fountains, or other decorations and whether it has a special purpose.
7. Professional garden designers plan carefully to make sure there’s something interesting or lovely around every corner or bend in a path, so imagine walking in your garden. What could you put near each corner or bend that’s interesting?
8. Cut out the garden plants and features from your pictures and place them on the map (don’t glue them down yet!).
9. Using colored pencils, crayons, or markers, color in the paths and draw benches or windmills. Finally glue or tape the cutouts in place, and share your final design with your troop or family.
- Some gardens have names, like the Children’s Memorial Garden, the Everglades Wonder Gardens, and the Secret Garden. What is your garden called?
- What did you like best about planning a dream garden?
- Now that you’ve finished the activity, would you like to try planting something?
- Do you know someone who loves gardening who you could share your map with?
- Is there a garden that you’ve never been to but would like to visit?
- What would you like to learn next about gardening?
Troop Leaders: The instructions for all badge steps are available free of charge in your Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit.
Girl Scouts at Home activities have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming and optimized for use at home during a period of social distancing.
Adapted from Step 2 of the Junior Gardener Badge. Purchase the Junior It’s Your Planet Badge Activity Set to complete the requirements and earn the badge.
When you’ve earned this badge, you’ll know how to help plants and flowers grow.