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in Garden design
If the planters are near to the Kitchen, why not use them to put herbs in, or salad crops like lettuces and radishes? I'm sure your children would like this, as i'm trying to introduce my 3 year old (nearly 4) to gardening, so he knows where some of the green things on his plate come from. I'm also hoping that as he's helped me grow them and water them, he'll be more likey to eat them! I'm also trying strawberries in a hanging basket, as strawberries are one of the few things he'll happily eat!
Dianthus are a good idea to grow, as they're not poisonous, and come in a variety of colours, mostly the purples and pinks you're after. Maybe a mix of dianthus and lavendar? I'm sure the smell would be lovely as well as looking good.
My favourite for planters and children are, tomatos, peas and strawberries. If your planters are big enough YELLOW courgettes.This way they can see things grow which they can eat and you don't need to worry about poisonous plants - many 'cottage' plants are very poisionous.
Ok then -how big are these planters?
I have something similar on my patio, I have 2 of the silver metal plant spirals, with sweet peas climbing up them, mainly for the scent. I love sweet peas, but I think it's too late to plant these now. if you want a focal point, why not add a small willow wigwam and plant a scented climber like Jasmine or Honeysuckle, or even a climbing rose?