My eldest has been in the garden ever since she was a new baby. Helping us, till, pull rows, start seeds (even if she was in the stroller– she was there)… She has also always been genuinely interested in how a garden comes to life, “they’re growing to the sky!”, she’ll say. She will walk over to my spinach bed, grabbing leaf after leaf for an outdoor snack and cry if she can’t find an earthworm to hold. This is where she wants to be and it just so happens to be exactly where I want to be also.
So I made her a garden.
We already have several raised beds and are in the process of adding a lot more along with a fence, a sandy walkway with stepping-stones all connected by mulch. Trying my best to Joanna Gaines my garden on a budget. Sadly everything costs so much meaning we can’t do it all at once. but I’m certainly enjoying the process.
We typically plant a large field garden but have shied away from that this year solely focusing on our raised beds. We have nurtured each bed with heavy weeding, peat moss, organic fertilizer and mulch. Maybe mulching our beds will not only keep our soil nice and loamy but also suppress the weeds to where we don’t have to exert so much time to weeding each week.
We made a raised bed from cinder blocks last year. It started as an early year salad bed then they gained a couple of strawberry plants I bought from Whole Foods. The strawberries have grown and spread reclaiming their territory, making it their own bed. They have allowed me to plant onions in each hole of the cinderblocks at the top of the bed. It looks so inviting
When I decided to make Oaklee’s garden I wanted to add right onto this strawberry bed. The original bed was 2 cinderblocks high, so I left hers just one single row of cinderblocks. I ended up making her bed 1 (block) x 4 (blocks). Filling it will mulch, peat moss, and organic garden soil. I let her plant a few plants that she had started from seed weeks ago, bell peppers and oregano. When we were at the store the other day she begged me for a “pretty purple flower”. She picked out some petunias and carried them though the entire store. It was precious and she was so happy.
We planted the petunias in the center with the bell peppers on each side of them. We put the oregano in the lower corners. When everything takes off I think this addition to the strawberry bed will be just gorgeous! I was gifted a pack of marigolds for mother’s day because my mother in law knows I used them every year sprinkling them all throughout my garden. There was just enough to place in the center of each hole of each block. We added mulch and now its finished. Perfect.
Now, they have their very own garden that THEY helped grow from seed, work the soil, (add the earth worms), and mulch. They get to care for it and harvest it. I think this will be a very positive addition to our garden for me and them. Giving the kids responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.
If you’re looking to get your littles involved in gardening with you maybe consider building them a garden of their own. They will be so happy that they have something to work in, nourish, and watch come to life. It will even get them excited to eat THEIR vegetables. Teaching them how to care for plants will be something they carry with them throughout their life and maybe they will teach their kids what you once taught them.
What a beautiful lifetime gift a small garden could be.