We recently joined actress Jordana Brewster for a garden party in her gorgeous Mandeville Canyon home. After spending a year working with Tery Ciarlo, one of the Westside’s go-to landscape designers, the mama and hostess with the mostess opened up her newly-renovated garden space for a sweet summer gathering that still has us beaming.

The highlight of the space is a sustainably constructed, edible garden which inspired the drinks and snacks for the day. While basking in the beauty of fresh blooms and fruiting vines, guests stayed cool with herb-infused white wine cocktails from Sonoma-based Jardesca. Flavor combinations included orange and mint, grapefruit and rosemary, cucumber and basil, or mixed berries and lemon leaf.

Attendees also munched on the cutest veggie appetizers ever (more on that tomorrow) and took home herb and veggie baskets featuring a mix of heirloom tomatoes, mint and Italian peppers along with seeds and copper garden markers from our fave, Terrain.

The ultimate inspo behind Jordana’s backyard heaven was to get her children more connected to the earth, their food, and how it grows. Tery Ciarlo shared these charming ideas with us to get kids far from buttons and screens and right into the dirt with the berries and the greens…

11 Ways to Build Garden Memories with Kids

Love + Lemons:  Pick lemons and make lemonade.

Dig the dirt: Buy shovels and small watering cans… then get to work!

Pet projects: Release ladybugs into the soil to eat the pests.

Create ownership: Dedicate a pot or section of the garden to each child to design and maintain.

Get bugged out: Build an earthworm jar to learn about tunneling:
Place pebbles or sand at the bottom of a large jar as a foundation. Place a smaller jar filled with water inside, centered. Fill 1/4 of the large jar with moist soil and add a layer of sand. Add worm food, like apples and oatmeal. Add 3-5 worms collected from your garden, or you can get them at a bait shop. Add another layer of soil, followed by another layer of sand. Cover the jar with a nylon sock or pantyhose, seal with a rubber band, and place a layer of black paper on top to block light. Keep in a cool, dark place.

Sprout right up: Choose quick-maturing vegetables to satisfy short attention spans (like radishes, carrots, spinach and dwarf green beans).

eat dirt candy: Have a picnic in the garden and pick strawberries for dessert.

get wild: Make bird feeders and butterfly feeders to include wildlife:
Prepare butterfly food by mixing 9 parts water with 1 part sugar. Make a small hole in a Mason jar lid. Place a piece of sponge through the hole, so it’s sticking out on both sides. Tie string around the neck of the Mason jar to hang outside.

just add art: Pick oranges and draw silly faces on them.

host the class: Invite the classroom over to plant vegetables.

cook from the dirt: Help Mommy pick lettuce and tomatoes, and then help her make the salad.

Is there anything more idyllic sounding than gardening with children?
What’s your secret to keeping this more magical, less chaotic?

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