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24 Flowers to Create a Plant Zoo

I wish I could claim this idea as my own, but it is one I learned of a few years ago when I visited the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville. They had several different gardens that would surely appeal to children, including a garden gnome village and a hobbit house to explore.  However, the garden that caught my eye was the Plant Zoo. The plant zoo was planted with varieties whose names referenced animals of all kinds. Sometimes the names were specific plant names, like Tiger Lily, but others were common names like Lambs Ear. The tags in the garden used outlines of the animal in the plant name. I love the concept and I think this would be easy enough to pull off in your home garden with your kids or grandkids helping. Such an easy way to get a child interested in a garden! The plant tags the University had, might not be easily replicated. However, if you want to ID your plants, I think clip art, Sharpies, river rocks, and mod podge would allow the kids to make rock markers for your zoo garden in no time!

Contributors: Kerry Meyer


There are thousands of plants that would work in your plant zoo, we’ll get you started with
24 Proven Winners options that are perfect for this fun garden.


Senorita Spider Flower

Butterfly Argyranthemum

Toucan® Canna
Karalee® Butterfly Flower

Stratosphere® Butterfly Flower

Sweet Caroline Raven Ipomoea

Sweet Caroline Red Hawk Ipomoea

Chantilly Lace’ Goatsbeard

Rainbow Rhythm® ‘Ruby Spider’ Daylily

Rainbow Rhythm® ‘Tiger Swirl’ Daylily

Pardon My Bee Balm
Leading Lady Bee Balm
‘Cat’s Meow’ Catmint
‘Cat’s Pajamas’ CatmintGround Hug Aronia
Lo & Behold® Butterfly BushPugster® Butterfly Bush
Pink Mink® Clematis

Waxwing Mirror Bush

Red Rover® Red Rover® Silky Dogwood

Black Cat® Pussywillow

Cardinal Candy®  Viburnum

Fun and Games® ‘Red Rover’ Foamy Bells

Firefly Yarrow

Learn More:

Explore this Idea Board of Plants Perfect for Plant Zoo Gardens
Watch this DIY Floral Paperweight Project from Laura at Garden Answer.

Consider this Pinterest Board with More Kids Gardening Ideas.

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