As a member of my family, gardening began each year on Mother's Day. On that day we would pile all four kids in the Jeep Wagoneer and make the pilgrimage to Paulino Gardens. There we would spend the morning following my mom around as she picked out the garden's new additions, and the afternoon helping her plant them.
As spring made its approach each year I would count down to Mother's Day. And being the wonderful mother she is, my mom would help me get the garden ready so that on that day, we could plant everything.
We would turn the soil over, adding compost and breaking it up. We created little stone barriers that doubled as fairy paths. And best of all, we made sunflower houses.
Little did I know then where my mom got this amazing idea, but as I have grown and now tend my own garden, I have come to cherish the words and garden advice of the wonderful Sharon Lovejoy.
As we enter the summer months and spend more and more time outside and in backyard, we thought it might be nice to share a few of those lovely words, and great advice. A few tips and tricks to help you get your kiddos out in the garden so they too can experience the magic of planting a seed, and watching it grow. Read on below and make sure you check out our lovely garden section over in the shop for beautiful child sized tools and fun garden kits and seeds!
Our favorite gardening tips from Sharon Lovejoy:
1. "I realized that my grandmother had things right. She was a teacher and school principal who knew that the way to teach was by sharing an experience, not by preaching. She never told me to work, but always said, "Let's go outdoors and see what is going on." Or she would make a problem a challenge and a project."
2. "Gardening introduces children to the full circle of life, from that first spark of awakening to the final days of a plant's time on earth. But the joy is that the plant can be tossed onto a compost pile and decompose, only to become part of the earth and a plant yet again."
3. It doesn't matter what time of day you visit your garden, you will ALWAYS see magical things happening. Even if you go outdoors in the middle of the night and focus your flashlight on a blooming sunflower, you'll see magical moths and other critters feasting on the flower."
4. Buy some small gardening tools (including a kid-sized watering can).
5. Start children with a small plot or large pot, like a half-barrel, which is big enough to grow even a giant pumpkin.
6. Invest in good, bagged potting soil for container gardens.
7. Plant some containers in a heavily trafficked area, like a path from home to garage or the kitchen to the back yard. Fill pots with tiny, bite-sized producing plants, like strawberries or mini-tomatoes such as golden pear or cherry. Kids will investigate and begin to eat these little treats as snacks.
We hope these tips help you get your little ones out in the garden, and to help you keep the magic going we are offering up three (yes three) chances at winning a copy of the Sharon Lovejoy classic Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots! Simply leave a comment on this post by Thursday June 8th at 12pm. The winners will be chosen by the lovely Random Number Generator, and announced later that day.
We have three lucky winners, and they are:
Lisa who said: "So full of wonder and delight!!"