If you love to grow things or if you find that your children are becoming interested in things that grow, if you are worried about food quality for your family, or if you just think it will be a wonderful learning experience, then, you might want to consider creating a garden alone or with your children.
Work together and decide what you want the garden to look like. You can create sculptures or toad houses or small ponds out of pebbles and old plastic containers for the toads to drink out of. You can bend wires into sculptures and hang old forks and spoons on your fence. I was recently encouraged to attach old pots to my fence to create more vertical space. You can make a raised bed or just use lots of pots and containers! Create toad houses out of old containers and garden markers with found objects to create a beautiful gardening area. Use leaves from the garden for rubbings or have your children make scientific drawings of plants!
One day I was sitting in a laundromat looking at magazines. I found a photograph of the most beautiful garden I could ever imagine. There were two large garden gates opening to a lush green carpet and a large old table with benches and a breakfast table. To the right and to the left of the table there were beautiful raised beds of all sorts of vegetables. In one corner was a huge metal garbage can filled with lavender plants. I was amazed at the simplicity of the idea, but what a wonderful idea to extend your living space right into your garden. You could eat dinner right where it grows.
If you are nervous that your children will do more harm than good, then give them their own space. Let them be in charge of it. Have them water. Show them what to weed. Encourage them to be gentle. Send them out to pick a few green onions. Give them a harvesting basket to collect beans and peas.
You can get your family involved in all aspects of gardening. Create a tiny garden or salad pot for your child. Go to the library and get some gardening books. After four years I still can’t get spinach or peppers to grow, no matter how much of anything I add to my clay- like soil., But learning and trying is half the fun.
I encourage you to carve out some dirt in a sunny corner or gather a few old pots and create a beautiful little garden. Plant some seeds and play in the dirt and think about how lucky we are to live in an area where most of us have space to create our own gardens. Or grab a few pots and grow a small, contained garden. Some Southbury residents are even starting a Southbury group garden space. What a perfect place to develop your own plot!