Friday, 21 June 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow? #KidsGrowWild

The family home I grew up in had a long thin garden that was overgrown despite my dad's best efforts to maintain a productive vegetable plot. There was no lawn to speak of, and certainly no flowers (my dad insisted that if you couldn't eat it, it wasn't worth growing). Despite witnessing the physical pain he put himself through with his relentless digging, I was always interested in gardening. He let me have my own little patch in which I grew Sempervivums  given to me by my neighbour and Marigolds (weeds according to my dad!) grown from seed.

It was Percy Thrower and the Blue Peter garden back in the seventies that really opened my eyes to the possibilities of what a garden could be.

I have lived in many different homes during the course of my adult life, each with a garden that was special to me. My current home has a larger than average garden for a town house with many mature trees. There is a lot of hard work involved in the upkeep and development but I love it.

I try to share my passion for outdoors and growing things with my 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son. Much as my dad did for me all those years ago, I have given them their own little plot. So far, they have 'planted' a whole lot of stones and off cuts of wood to create something only they appreciate! With the hard landscaping done, it was time to open some seed packets.

My children love having their own mini garden tools, just like mummy's. Here is my boy with his gardening equipment loaded up in his trailer ready for a day of planting.

I hope with all my heart that, as adults, they will remember happy days in the sunshine feeling compost running through their fingers,

tipping tiny seeds into open palms

and sprinkling them into trays with the promise of a miracle happening.

 I am fairly sure they will remember the watering,

and overwatering - which seems to be a favourite activity.

A lesson in patience must be learned as they wait for their seeds to germinate.

As I started this post talking about Blue Peter it seems only fitting that I borrow their much overused catchphrase with a here's one I made earlier moment.

Our 'field' of sunflowers

I love the excitement that growing things can generate and the appreciation of nature it gives my own little saplings. Most of all, I love spending time outside with them and giving them the sort of experiences that might just foster the same passion for gardening that has enriched my life so much.

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