Dinosaur Garden Theme: Creating A Prehistoric Garden For Kids

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

If you’re looking for an unusual garden theme, and one that is especially fun for children, perhaps you could plant a primitive plant garden. Prehistoric garden designs, often with a dinosaur garden theme, utilize primitive plants. You may be wondering what are primitive plants? Read on to learn more about primitive plants and how you can go about creating a prehistoric garden with your children.

What are Primitive Plants?

Many plants are available for use in prehistoric gardens. Prehistoric garden designs simply use plants that have existed for millions of years. These plants have adapted to a range of climates and conditions and remain viable today, often reproducing from spores, such as with ferns. Creating a prehistoric garden in the shade is a great way to use this variety of plants.

Among the oldest plants found in fossil records, ferns have adapted to climate changes and sprung up in new locations across the planet. Mosses should also be included when planning prehistoric garden designs in the shade. Elevate some containerized ferns on pedestals for an interesting variation.

Ginkgo trees and cycads, like the sago palm, are other primitive plants that take more sun and can also be used when creating a primitive garden.

Creating a Dinosaur Garden Theme

The steps for creating a prehistoric garden are similar to creating a traditional garden, but you’ll find the results surprisingly different. Creating a prehistoric garden can help you get the kids interested in gardening since many of them love dinosaurs.

A primitive plant garden is easy to design when you’re working with an area that includes both sun and shade. This is a great way to get the kids involved in gardening projects; just tell them they’re planting a dinosaur garden theme. Explain that these foliage plants were likely the dinosaur’s food source all those centuries ago.

In addition to those listed above, queen palms, asparagus ferns, gunnera, junipers, and pine are among the plants you can use when planning prehistoric garden designs. Horsetails are another primitive plant you can add when planning a primitive plant garden. Sink a container into the soil for rapidly spreading plants such as these. This allows you to use the plant in your garden and keeps it from getting out of bounds.

Don’t forget to add some hardscape sculptures, such as the dinosaurs, that once dined on these ancient plants. Add a sandbox for the kids with, of course, plastic toy dinosaurs to expand on the dinosaur theme when creating a prehistoric garden with children.

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Read more about Children's Gardens

Go for the Romance

Stachys officinalis 'Hummelo' and Pink Supreme Roses.

Most cottage gardens seem to set a romantic tone. Maybe it is because pastel shades are favored here or perhaps it is because fragrant flowers are popular in this kind of garden. Peonies and old roses scent the air and add that touch of sumptuous sensuality.

But there are many plants you can use. In this photo, I planted lavender Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’ along with Flower Carpet® ‘Pink Supreme’ Roses for an exuberant effect. They are both fairly easy to grow and the Stachys tolerates some drought. Its scalloped leaves also add to the scene.

A moss rock garden is one of the easiest no-budget gardens you will even consider. No doubt it will also be the best conversation piece in your landscape and yard! It will be a haven of peace, a retreat for meditation and prayer, an educational and entertaining “condensed nature walk” for your kids, philosophical conversation piece, or perhaps a quarry of edible lichens. The benefits for the ecosystem are many and a moss rock garden makes a beautiful interesting addition to your landscaping.


Like Alice in Wonderland, you are probably curious, as well you should be! Here are some fascinating lichen and moss facts that will capture your imagination and day-dreaming abilities right away:

  1. Out of 20,000 species of Lichens, there are only two that are poisonous. Unlike fungi, lichens are fungi that form symbiotic relationships with bacteria. Thus it probably behooves them to be a bit more “social” than a fungus is required to be. There are only a few kingdoms of living things in all of creation. Animals, plants and fungus each have their own kingdom. In the Fungi Kingdom, the majority are poisonous with few edible.
  2. There are many species of lichen that are edible if they are cooked, but please read up on this. Though only 2 are poisonous, they should never be eaten raw unless in a wilderness survival situation, many are not tasty, and some may even be as old as 3000 years old!
  3. Manna, the food that the Bible says the Lord “rained from heaven” for the Israelites to eat while in the wilderness, which they gathered on Sabbath preparation day, happens to be a lichen!
  4. Moss is the oldest terrestrial plant on earth!
  5. Mosses collectively provide more carbon offset than all the trees in the world.
  6. Even though water is necessary for mosses to develop, they are drought tolerant.
  7. Moss has a wider growing range of light exposure than any other plant. See more moss facts here.

Benefits of A Moss Rock Garden

SOME OF THE PRACTICAL ADVANTAGES are that these garden buddies are truly excellent for brightening up the landscape and adding value and appeal to your home. They help control erosion, they eliminate the need for mowing or weed-eating in the areas in which you establish them. This lowers your lawn bill, beautifies your yard and prevents your valuable soil from washing away with each rain. Another practical job it can do is make a perfect splatter-guard for basement windows! So many creative things can be done with this precious resource, plant and fungus landscaping tool!

How To Make A Moss Rock Garden

There are so many things you can do with moss and lichens in your landscape. You can easily transfer moss and lichens into your garden or landscape an area near your house entirely for a moss rock garden. Here is what you will need:

  1. A small shovel or trowel to loosen up moss clumps
  2. A wide bucket or wide rubber feeder like you can get at Tractor Supply or a feed store, something wide and water proof for gathering your moss and lichens
  3. A pair of garden gloves
  4. Chosen spots near the house or garden which you would like to give pretty, rich looking ground cover – make spot bare and loosen the soil just enough to give the moss something to “grab” on to.
  5. “moss and lichens” supply or gathering spot which is near enough to transport these unique and lovely garden “friends”


  1. In the woods near your house or in your neighborhood
  2. On small transportable rocks which already have moss growing on them
  3. On the bank or rocks near a creek bed or other water source
  4. On the cliffs or edges and banks of a road in the country
  5. On cliffs and natural ledges
  6. At the base of large old trees
  7. Never take all the moss, leave enough that it will keep replenishing for future “harvesting”

Moss is easy to grow. It spreads quickly in shady areas and spots near the house or bordering a garden as long as you clear the area, ruffle up the soil giving it something to cling to and spread out over. It likes moisture and so you should water any new plantings often, especially initially.

My moss garden was started last year. With minimal effort I planted this area near our newly installed outdoor stairway and it took “hold” easily, kept growing and has thrived. I think it looks quite handsome, don’t you? I keep adding to it little by little, and by next year I expect it to be twice the size it is now! Go ahead, let a little moss “lichen” up your home in just one afternoon! That is all it took me to get a moss rock garden started!

Garden Junk Ideas That You’ll Love!

Garden junk ideas are an artistic way to transform your old household items into treasures. Examples of this upcycled art include the use of old ladders as flower stands and decorating with forest vines over old shutters like a curtain. You can fill an old cast iron tub with potting soil and then grow pink and purple petunias in it. This way of upcycling is environmentally friendly because the junk is used to beautify the garden space rather than be piled up in a landfill.

Creative Garden Junk Ideas!

The garden junk ideas with upcycled household items or treasures from the flea market are limited only by the imagination of the gardener. Endless possibilities are hiding in everything from old shoes to car tires. Check out our amazing ideas and uncover the hidden potential of your garden!

Rustic Log Arbor

An arbor gives the young garden a sense of place and permanence, and it isn't necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on a rustic arbor constructed from sturdy logs or branches. By leaving the bark intact, you will also provide a purchase for vines to cling to as they grow. If you don't have a ready source of evenly sized logs or branches, willow branches are forgiving and easy to work with, and their flexibility allows you to incorporate curves into your design.

Watch the video: Dinosaur Gardens Ossineke, MI

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