For the Love of Gardening
I’ve been obsessed with gardening since I was a little girl. When I was about 10 years old, I used to take my spending money, ride my bike to the center of town, go to the hardware store and spend it all on shovels, seeds, and even one year, I remember I bought one of those rotating sprinklers.
We never had a very big backyard, or anything very conducive to gardening, because 3/4 of it was underneath a giant fir tree (too shady), and the other 1/4 was where people walked through to get to the cars. But nevertheless, I was determined to have my hobby flourish, and if that meant using the space that I had, all my spending money and all my extra time on this garden, then nothing was stopping me!
Today we took all the kids to a nursery to pick out the vegetables that they wanted to plant in our garden... we drove... I didn’t have to ride my bike... and then helped with setting up our family garden. We carefully planned out where each veggie would live, and since we have bunnies who come and visit all the time, we had to hide our strawberries and lettuce under these beautiful wire cloches that I found.
For me, planning where each type of vegetable is planted is important. I love when things are symmetrical and have a rhyme and reason to them. Because the tomatoes and snap peas will grow up a trellis and create a nice vertical presence, I situated them at either sides of the garden and then equally in the center as well. The lower growing plants were planted in the forefront of the garden, and the sprawling veggies, like the zucchini will all be together on one side. And in between all this goodness, I’ll eventually plant some lavender, because why wouldn’t you have beautiful lavender, and also some marigold plants to keep the pests away.
One at a time we planted away, Levi took it very seriously (must be my kid), and Coco and Max just got supremely muddy, which Max absolutely loved and proceeded to call Coco a “dirty ballerina.” These are the memories I live for... the ones I had of myself biking back from town hastily to plant my seeds, and to these present ones, watching my own kiddos get excited, get dirty and get to do it all right alongside with mama.
If you love to spend time outdoors with your kiddos, gardening is such a fun activity that you’ll get to enjoy throughout the whole summer… your kiddos can watch the plants grow, get to explore the different bugs that tour your garden, and the best part, getting to enjoy the fruits of your labor and harvest your yummy veggies when the time comes. Pick vegetables and herbs that are fun for your kiddos, visually stimulating ones, ones that smell good (like basil or lavender), ones that bear lots of veggies like cherry tomatoes, and even ones that live underground that they can’t see but will get a thrill from pulling out, like carrots.
Don’t forget to plant your garden in a nice sunny spot, preferably facing southward, where it will receive the largest amount of sunlight. I love to water my garden with a watering can in the mornings (if I have the time), there’s just something so calming about it. And in the evening, sprinkle it with a hose. Don’t forget to fertilize your plants and keep an eye out for unwanted critters and visitors like chipmunks and bunnies. I put these beautiful metal cloches around our strawberries and lettuce, which will work for now, but I’m sure once the lettuce gets bigger, I’ll have to put up a little barrier made of chicken wire to keep them out. We also added this copper tape around the entire perimeter of the garden to keep the snails away. And something I really love are these copper garden labels for each of the veggies… they’re just so pretty!
Enjoy the time with your kids in the garden, watch them discover, and let them get muddy and dirty!
Would love to hear your thoughts on gardening, or any tips and suggestions you may have! And for any information on the things I used in my own garden, like the cloches or copper tape, feel free to send me a message here or Instagram!