How to Create a Dinosaur Garden

How to Create a Dinosaur Garden

What is a dinosaur garden?

A dinosaur garden is a kid-friendly gardening project that combines education and fun. Using hardy plants and species that have been around since ancient times, these gardens can turn any yard space into a jurassic park for kid-sized dinosaurs to roam.

Like miniature fairy gardens, dinosaur gardens encourage hours of fun, imaginative play. These prehistoric playgrounds can take any shape or size, though – from a miniature dinosaur garden to a full-scale outdoor oasis. Read on to learn how to create your own dinosaur garden.

Benefits of a dinosaur garden

Dinosaur gardens aren’t just for fun. These unique gardens will help your child’s cognitive development through imaginative play and scientific education. Kids learn more about science, history, and archaeology right in the backyard! 

With a dedicated garden play space full of hardy plants, you won’t have to worry about your kids trampling more sensitive arrangements. Many of these species have evolved through millennia of changing climates, so they also pair perfectly with low-maintenance rock gardens and shade gardens.

Best plants for a dinosaur garden


It doesn’t take an archaeologist to find the perfect plants for a dinosaur garden. Many popular garden species have early roots, while others have a primitive appearance that puts them perfectly at home. 

Here are some great plants for a dinosaur garden:

  • Ferns, some of which date back to the Mesozoic era. Look for interrupted ferns or Japanese painted ferns for species that are relatively unchanged. 
  • Succulents
  • Magnolia trees
  • Ginkgo trees. These memory-boosting trees boast some of the oldest discovered plant fossils!
  • Moss
  • Kale
  • Bamboo. These privacy-adding grasses date back 350 million years. They’re also a good lookalike to substitute for horsetails.

How to create a dinosaur garden

Once you’ve picked out the perfect plants, it’s time to set up your dinosaur garden! Follow these dinosaur footsteps to the perfect spot for prehistoric play. 

Clear out weeds (or don’t)

To make space for your dinosaur garden, get rid of any unruly weeds – but double check them before you do! Horsetails are a species of fern known as “living fossils” that have become aggressive weeds today, but with a creative touch they can blend right into a dinosaur garden.

If you choose to incorporate these stubborn plants into your dino garden, quarter them off with a container garden or another barrier to prevent them from taking over. You want your kids to go wild in the garden, not the weeds!

Plan for play

When you’re setting up your dinosaur garden, remember that you’re creating a playspace. Set up your garden with imaginative appeal and room for kids to roam. Try adding a sandbox for desert dinos, or some large rocks to mimic ancient rock formations. A layer of kiddie cushion mulch will protect your plants and provide a soft surface to ease any falls.

Work together

Take advantage of this fun garden theme by turning your day of yard work into quality time gardening together. Kids love any excuse to play in the dirt, and they’ll have even more fun getting to watch the seeds they plant grow and learn about their favorite dinosaurs along the way.

While you’re outside setting the scene, you can talk to your kids about plant-eating dinosaurs like brontosaurus and triceratops, or apex predators like velociraptors and the classic T-rex. A hands-on lesson about these ecosystems will lay the foundation for lifelong learning.

Add a Jurassic touch

Alyssa | Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

To take your dinosaur garden to the next level, add some interactive decorations that emphasize the theme. Forget about gnomes – dino figurines for your yard come in all shapes and sizes, from miniature toy dinosaurs to large outdoor statues. Dino print stepping stones will allow your kids to walk in prehistoric footsteps and provide a fun DIY kids craft.

Frequently asked questions about dinosaur gardens

What plants work well in a dinosaur garden?

Horsetail herbs, ferns and juniper shrubs resemble the plants from the time when dinosaurs reigned. Moss is another great addition to a dinosaur garden.

Where can I find statues and other dinosaur-themed objects for my garden?

Online retailers like Amazon and local home improvement stores like Lowe’s often have these items.

The final word

If your kids are wild at heart, a dinosaur garden is a great way to provide a play area that encourages imagination and lifelong learning. To create the perfect fossil-filled dinosaur garden, reach out to a landscaping pro for help – just a call or click away!

Main photo credit: Pxhere

Annie Parnell

Originally from the Washington, D.C., area, Annie Parnell is a freelance writer and audio producer based in Richmond, Virginia. She is passionate about gardening, outdoor recreation, sustainability, and all things music and pop culture.