Sunday, October 3, 2010

10 things I love to do in the garden with my children


Little Garden Helpers issued an open invitation to post about 10 things I love to do with my children in the garden:

1.Run, jump, roll and everything else you can do on a lawn. People might call it "green cancer", but by watering it with bath water it's not using too much water and it's worth the effort of mowing when we have a space to play.

2. Discover hideyholes. I love the idea of secret gardens, walled gardens and sunken gardens- that idea of your own secluded space to commune with nature. Growing up in a fairly free-range manner I would find spaces under bushes or up trees to hide. My boys live in a much more constrained garden complete with fences and gates. We don't have a permanent cubby house, but instead occasionally put up our beach tent (which has been used more in the garden than at the beach). Better still, I hope the boys can find their own spaces; at the moment they are enjoying crawling in and out of the Westringea hedge.
3. Planting out seedlings and seeds. Currently not the easiest activity, given Little Bro's quest for dominance in the shovel department, but we manage and I still enjoy being part of this cycle of plant life.
4. Pick fresh food. One day the boys might even eat a leaf...
5. Talk about how plants "work": the leaves breath and make food, the roots drink water and eat dirt, etc. Big Bro is fascinated by plants' favourite food being animal poop.
6. Find critters. Worms and earwigs seem to be appearing in droves. Yay for the former, boo for the latter; at least someone enjoys seeing them.
7. Watch birds. Even though most of the birds visiting our garden are mundane introduced species like Indian mynahs and blackbirds, there's something exciting about seeing them. The boys go quiet and stare; the awe in which we watch reminds me of D.H. Lawrence's "A snake came to my water trough..." poem, except we try not to scare the birds away. Once the boys are bigger, we'll take a torch out on summer nights and spotlight the ringtail possums that run along the fence and the flying foxes that plunder the fig tree.
8. Dig, dig, dig, and better still, find buried treasures from bygone eras. Well, I like the treasures best; I think the boys just like to dig...
9. Put a flower in my hair. The boys think this is hilarious; I find it quite charming that they will bring me flowers to wear.
10. Eat outside. Barbecue. The weather has warmed up in the last week and the temperatures have crossed my threshold for outdoor dining. We're lucky enough to have a covered deck meaning that you can enjoy the outdoors without the full blast of the elements. With Little Bro being an enthusiastically independent, and thus messy eater, I can't deny enjoying the easy cleanup outside via the hose. And the same goes for the barbecue- carbonizing the hotplate is much more relaxing than scrubbing pans. And there's also Famous Five motto, "food always tastes so much better outside".

What are your 10 favourite things to do in the garden?

11 comments:

Garden Mum said...

Our Little Garden Helpers also bring me flowers - usually daisys, buttercups and dandelions. They expect me to put them in a vase, so we have a tiny vase for them which sits on the kitchen table whenever they bring me a special flower. They also collect stones for Garden Dad's jar of stones at work!

_vTg_ said...

Ah, you Brits are much more genteel than us colonials ;-) (well, me at least) I am so terrible in the cut flower department that whenever I do bring out a vase, Big Bro has a million questions about it!

I am also actively discouraging Big Bro's developing interest in geology given that (1) rocks are not good holiday souveniers and (2) our loose pebbled driveway would be too much of a temptation!

ANB said...

At the moment sitting is still such a novelty for E that we spend part of each day on a rug outside. She makes delighted noises at the bottlebrush ("eeeeeeeeeehhh!" "aaaaaaaaaahhh!"), attempts to pull the rug up to eat grass when I am not watching and when the sitting thing gets a bit hard and she face plants the combination of grass plus rug seem to mean it is a good joke rather than cause for tears!

_vTg_ said...

Too cute- it's a lovely age where everything is exciting and so much is new. Enjoy!

Megan Blandford said...

Great post - I love being outside with my little girl. Yesterday, she was looking at worms in the dirt and we were talking about those. She hears kookaburras and sees parrots and cockatoos - and we run like crazy around the grass!

Veronica said...

Do people really call lawns green cancer? I have an acre of grass that we don't water and it's lush at the moment. Although, I'm not sure the kids are inclined to play in it, because it's also unmowed and waist deep (whoops).

I love having the kids outside, heaps less stressful and everyone is calmer at the end of the day.

A Cajun Down Under said...

Great post. I love being in the garden with my 2 girls. It's nice to see them take an interest in where their food comes from. And, it they grow it, generally they will eat it.

MMBB said...

I wish I got outside with my kids more often. I feel bad at the lack of fresh oxygen they get :(

Lou said...

Oh I liked that! Thanks.

Kelly said...

Outside! YES! Is. Awesome.

Kebeni said...

Isn't the garden a wonderful playmate.

Related Posts with Thumbnails