Two of my favorite things are gardening and children. So why not combine the two and see how it goes? The first thing in the morning I put on my rainbow colored gardening boots and dished myself up an extra helping of patience. Then I headed next door to solicit help from my three year old granddaughter.
“Papa already planted a ginormous garden,” she chirped. I answered thoughtfully, “I want to do something fun! And the most fun thing I can think of is spending time with you.”
With big smiles on our faces, we trudged to a neighboring ranch where we filled 5 gallon buckets with horse manure. Can you imagine the questions that were asked? With each careful answer, came another round of questions. By mid morning we had our buckets, boots, and seeds in place to begin planting our garden. My granddaughter had added many colorful words to her already bulging vocabulary, and I was ready for a nap. Rest can wait, but seeds and three year olds cannot.
So we began the process of digging, raking, shoveling, and planting. With each seed came another wave of questions. Each seed variety has a unique size, shape, smell and feel, much like children who are differently yet marvelously made.
Imagine our joy when a week’s worth of anticipation was rewarded with the miracle of those first tiny green leaves. Some of the seeds would keep us waiting for a few more days, and the pumpkin seeds took an extra week. Their fuzzy plump leaves were so worth the wait.
Now it is our responsibility to keep our garden watered and weeded. Have you ever noticed that weeds tend to hide around a look alike plant? My little helper noticed this right away, when chick weed sprouted next to the bean plants and horsetail next to the lacy carrot tops.
In a few weeks we will be picking and eating the fruit from our labor, or in other words, the veggies from our play time.
Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy
Hollyhocks and Honeybees by Sara Starbuck