Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Attracting another kind of wildlife

     Recently, some good friends came to my house for dinner with their children.  Everybody had a good time, including the kids, but as the evening progressed, my little three-year-old friend seemed a bit stressed out.  It was close to bedtime and the excitement was taking its toll.  On their way out, they passed the "Golden Showers" yellow rose that blooms by my front porch.  The spot is in a very warm microclimate in a sunny sheltered spot and, between that and the unusually warm winter we've been having, the rose had bloomed as late as December.  The first hard frost in mid-December freeze-dried the blooms, some of them just as the buds were starting to unfurl, so although they were not as beautiful as before the freeze, there were some that were still pretty.  (Needless to say, I was too lazy to deadhead them.)  My little buddy pointed and asked, "What's that?"  Her mom told her it was a rose and I asked, "Do you want one?" I clipped off the best of the dried blooms and gave it to her.  The big smile on her face was a joy to see.  It reminded me how important it is to involve kids in gardening and nature.  Do you have ideas how to get kids interested in plants and wildlife?  I would love to hear about them.
"Golden Showers" Rose (before the frost!)


  1. Hi, I came here after seeing your comment about mirrors in the garden. That makes sense. As for including children in gardening, I have two grandsons, who are brothers. One turned 4 in January, and the other will be 1 in April. They come to our house almost every Saturday. The older one has been joining me in the garden as often as he is interested. I always ask him if he wants to do things like help pick tomatoes or peppers, or just go look at what's growing, and he lets me know if he wants to or not. I have a huge space across the street where there is enough dirt that he can just go dig if he wants to, and then I will do something else nearby. He has a shovel, but he also likes to use my hand trowels, and sometimes will say on his own that he wants to go dig in the dirt. He usually tells me he is looking for worms. Sometimes he does find one. It's a fun, relaxing time. Oh, and he has helped me spread compost around, too. I look forward to seeing what he wants to do this summer.

    My own kids had their own 4 by 4 foot planting beds a few seasons, but they usually didn't tend them the whole summer.

  2. Hi Sue,
    I saw your grandkids in one of the pix on your blog. They're pretty cute and seem to be having fun in that picture. I like the retrospective showing your garden in all its stages. It's a beautiful garden and interesting to see it evolve. I would like to play with kids in my garden, but since I'm going to have to "borrow" the kids from friends, I think I might need to come up with some nice messy project to start with...

  3. Are you on Facebook? There are a lot of gardening blogs and info about getting kids interested in the outdoors...I am a retired special education teacher...try this blog...