AN OXFORD gardening enthusiast, who lives on a canal boat in Oxford, has created a gardening book for children.

Annabell Padwick, who provides garden-therapy for people of all ages, regularly working with children across Oxfordshire schools to deliver gardening and wellbeing programmes to support pupils, decided to put her expertise into an interactive ‘how to garden’ book for kids.

You Can Grow Your Own Food is an interactive book written and designed for children to introduce them to gardening.

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Ms Padwick said: “I really wanted to create a book that was written and designed for children because a lot of gardening books are written for adults to read and then teach children.

“But this book is really interactive and really simplified so children can read it themselves and teach themselves.

“When I was young I used to love being creative and books that were interactive, so this book allows kids to do that. They can stick in photos and memories from their gardening, but it also has all the gardening information needed.”

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The book is aimed at children age seven to eleven, but Ms Padwick said it is great for anyone, ‘even for adults who want a simpler guide.’

The author wrote the book alongside her work with the non-profit organisation called Life at No.27.

The organisation provides garden-therapy for people of all ages. Ms Padwick regularly works with children and schools across the county to deliver gardening, support, and national-curriculum based programmes to support students of all ages who struggle with social and emotional circumstances.

She said: “Alongside my writing, I also write for Kitchen Garden Magazine, I provide therapy and mental health aid in Oxfordshire.

“I go into schools, work with children within the school setting, particularly children struggling with low-confidence or low-self-esteem issues. I help them get out of the classroom.”

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Ms Padwick continues to do gardening in her spare time as well, and she did not let moving to a canal boat stop this.

She said: “I now have a load of crazy containers full of plants off the towpath, which I was a bit worried about, but everyone loves it because it is so unusual.”

You Can Grow Your Own Food is now available at Yarnton Home & Garden centre.

Amy Weightman at Yarnton Home & Garden said: “This fabulous little book encompasses everything young gardeners need to know to get gardening.

"Annabelle has created a brilliant interactive, informative and fun book designed to grow with the child. At Yarnton Home & Garden, we are passionate about sowing the passion for children to get outside, get their hands messy and grow their own. We also love to support local creators, and being Annabelle’s most local garden centre, we knew we could help reinforce her strong message to our customers in-store and online."

Ms Padwick added: "Since launching the book I have received such fantastic feedback including it being featured by the Department for Education.

"Children have absolutely loved having their own book which they can learn from but also get messy, and the parents have said that they have even learnt lots too.

"The book includes everything that I would have loved as a child, with every page revealing something new, from designing your own pizza garden and sowing seeds, to making plant feeds and cooking your own homegrown chips and stews.

"Youngsters can record their growing adventures along the way too."