She doesn't have much time for gardening, but does want an attractive environment and an opportunity to give the children a learning experience about plants and wildlife. So plants need to be easy to nurture, non poisonous, attractive and if possible to have a big impact.
I think it would be fun, once the plants have grown, for her to be able to then use the flowers, leaves or seeds in the kitchen and show the children some great uses for plants, so my suggestions for her garden include
Nasturtium, with their hidden sip of nectar in the base of the flower and peppery leaves (which sadly in my mind tastes of caterpillars, I obviously had a close encounter at an early age).
Pot Marigold with bright shiny flowers and which are edible, although I haven't tried eating the stems or leaves yet, perhaps that is something for us to try later in the year.
Lavender, which would give us the perfect reason to visit a lavender farm like Cotswold Lavender later in the year and give my daughter's charges an opportunity to make lavender bags as gifts for their family members towards the end of the year.
Candytuft, like these cheerful little ones from Mr Fothergill's seeds. Easy to grow, even for the smallest of fingers, I remember my daughter taking great delight at sowing her own little patch of flowers in the garden when she was about two years old and the pride on her face when she picked her first bunch of home sown flowers.
Scented Geraniums like these ones from Victoriana Garden Nursery. Dainty little fairy cakes that have been cooked with a lemon scented geranium leaf in the bottom of the cake case have a flowery lemon taste and they smell heavenly. I made these with my son when he was in his pre-school years and haven't made them for about 25 years, it must be time to teach my daughter how to make them with her children.
Sunflowers like these ones from Premier Seeds Direct (I particularly like their seeds and they offer loads of organic varieties of flower and vegetable seed too).
These are all easy to grow plants and I will also suggest some easy vegetables like runner beans, radish, mangetout and lettuce. It would be lovely to think that she may help nurture an interest in gardening and wildlife in the next generation whilst making a colourful splash in her garden and growing a few tasty additions for her kitchen.