I love gardening. At the first hint of warm weather I begin to have detailed, yet wildly unrealistic visions of the beautiful, picture-perfect garden that I will certainly create this year. This spring I will plant some roses, and I have been researching different types of roses for the past two years (literally). I am not an impulse shopper in any regard, and certainly not where something seemingly as permanent as a garden is concerned.Last year I gave the kids a little patch of dirt to plant. I thought colorful annuals would satisfy short attention spans better than seeds or perennials. We went to the nursery and they got to pick six plants each, any annual they wanted. My daughter picked dainty alyssum as well as a variety of other flowers in pretty pink and purple tones. She is like me, not an impulse shopper. Much to my annoyance it took her close to an hour to make up her mind, even while being hurried along by me. My son (a typical “buy-the-first-thing-you-see-then-leave-as-quickly-as-possible” male) headed straight for the brightest flowers he saw: marigolds in varying shades of bright yellow and orange and rust. He chose five marigolds and a mint plant, because he liked the smell.
The deal was that they had to plant them themselves, and then water them everyday on their own without reminding. I had my doubts about the odds of their survival and felt grateful that my role in this life was to be my son’s Mom and not one of his marigolds.
Much to my surprise, the gardening experiment was a resounding success. They watered faithfully and I even taught them how to weed and deadhead by helping me. They kept their garden looking tidier than mine.
Now, every time we drive by the nursery they want to go and look at flowers. I have to explain that it is too soon, but they still don’t fully understand time, even my 6 year-old.
Meanwhile, I peruse garden magazines featuring fabulous, yet entirely impractical gardens for my climate, ability, and available time. I read the David Austin rose catalogue regularly, because this year, I really will take the plunge and order the roses of my dreams. I desperately want a Madame Alfred Carriere.
My kids have already, on their own initiative, planted pots with ancient seeds they found in the garage, and my son just brought home a sprouting Daffodil bulb that they forced at school.
Yeah! Spring is on the way!
(For my tips for gardening with kids, please also see my post: The Children’s Garden .)
Thanks to morgefile.com and photographer julesinky.