Six children's gardens to visit in Maryland area

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Children's GardenBy Allison Eatough

A bamboo maze, rows of sweet-smelling peppermint, a tree house with soaring views or giant sunflowers towering overhead, children's gardens are hard to resist at any age.

Garden's catering to children have become more and more popular over the past two decades according to David Ellis, editor and director of communications for the American Horticultural Society. Research shows the more children interact with nature and the outdoors, the better their physical and mental health is, Ellis says.

"I think one reason children's gardens are so popular is that they offer children an early opportunity to become engaged with nature and outdoor activities," Ellis says.

Children's gardens also boost an arboretum or garden center's visitation, says Steven Cohan, professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture at the University of Maryland College Park. When The Morton Arboretum in Illinois added a children's garden, membership doubled, Cohan says.

"Everyone is looking for something for the kids, particularly to get them outdoors," Cohan says.

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