Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Gardening with Children

The purpose of this blog entry is to link to a piece I wrote for Gaijin Mama, Suzanne Kamata’s blog (Suzanne is editor of Call Me Okaasan). It’s a “day in the life”, a series Suzanne did featuring contributors to the anthology. I meant to post the link when it came out in May but I was busy and distracted and time passed.

I post it today because it mentions my gardening efforts with the children at B’s nursery – we planted carrots when I wrote that piece, they all died. Only two out of nine sweet pea plants survived transplanting. The slugs ate all the lettuce. Gardening with toddlers, I wrote, is a balance between the children enjoying the experience and successful growing. They have to participate therefore the planting won’t be perfect. They might eat blue slug pellets therefore you can’t use them (and the organic child friendly ones don’t work!) They love to water so some plants are swamped – or poisoned by the bubbles in the water-play water they all enthusiastically used one day!

Today, at last, was different. I decided it was time to harvest the potatoes (the second batch we planted because the first lot rotted!) The children loved groping around in the soil and were so excited to pull out potatoes and carry the basket of our harvest proudly into nursery. I’m glad to be passing on my burgeoning love of gardening. I find it therapeutic and satisfying (when things grow). I’ve found that being interested in the garden helps me accept different weather and enjoy all seasons – I’m now pleased when it rains! Right now it’s boom time; raspberries, broad beans, sweet peas, courgettes, gooseberries, all picked with Baby J grizzling at my feet because she’s yet to appreciate their appeal.

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