gardening with kids

Early Summer in the Garden

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Morning fog and remnants of rain from the night greeted my sleepy eyes as I peeked out the window, as I do every morning. The force that pulls me to the garden was strong, as I find after a good rain, before the sky has cleared, just as the mornings of golden light speckling the earth fill me with the most simplistic happiness and warmth.

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There are still signs of a fading spring, but the undeniable growth of summer is even more prominent now. It’s a sad state to say goodbye to a spring never to return, but knowing that another will inevitably follow in the year to come. By this time each year in the garden, I’m nearly overwhelmed by the anxiety of being behind in vegetable growth. When did I plant? Did I start soon enough? Why aren’t there more tomatoes growing yet? It’s an inevitable stress that follows me through the gardening seasons, and I urge myself back to calm, to remember that things grow in their own time. The obvious bromide to give into.

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Despite urgings to stay inside where its warm and dry, I was accompanied by my two little girls, who have come to love traipsing through the gardens nearly as much as I. I wonder how they see it through their eyes, from their lower, more innocent perspectives. Then, distraction pulls the thoughts from my mind and I’m wholly present again. If ever there was a wonder why one succumbs to the whims of gardening, it’s safe to say that clarity of mind is a drug of its own.

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Mid-April in the Greenhouse

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It’s been a process to bring life into the greenhouse this year. With a toddler at my feet and off and on days of rain, I find myself drawn here more than not, regardless of weather or even if there’s a kiddo nearby. I’ve come to love this space, as you can imagine, and the morning light is nearly poetic. I find myself drawn outdoors, pulled to this space as if entranced. Spring is a magical beast.

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The fiddlehead ferns have emerged from beneath the greenhouse, and being the lover of ferns that I am, I’ve allowed them to stay—for now.

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My mother-in-law, daughter, and I had a plant shopping day a few weeks back, and the fuchsias that haven’t yet been planted around the garden, are finding homes to stay in the greenhouse. Of all the ones we’ve planted out, this is the only with a bud. These flowers are the only annuals I buy each year, and I am overjoyed to see them burst forth with life in just a short time.

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I walked into the greenhouse just the other morning—like I do most every day—and was suddenly struck by the individual characteristics emerging from the seedlings I’ve been watching emerge. When most seeds finally separate and push through the soil, they most all look very similar. If you wait and notice in a few short weeks, their unique colors, shapes, and forms begin to appear. I tried staying and tending to my tasks at hand, but found myself so distracted I went back inside for my camera, needing to fill the visions quickly forming in my mind.

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I’m adamant to include an abundance of flowers and vegetables alike, and these floret seedlings are shaping up beautifully.

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Spring is here and showing off all its beauty, not only in the greenhouse, but around the garden, our property, and town. It’s distracting indeed, but a welcome distraction that I fully appreciate this time of year. It’s a time where my mind is completely filled with thoughts of plants, planning, and dreaming as big as I can to fill my garden beds.

I’m amping up produce production as much as within my capability this year, and sharing the experience with my little girl, as well as my older two, has been so delightful. And each day that the rain breaks for us, we find ourselves pulling up our boots and treading through the wet grass to see what’s new since the last time we looked, even if that was just a few hours ago.