By Audrey Gillespie

Ain’t life grand?!   I hope you will take the time to meander with me a little while today down a few side paths.  Just for today, let’s put down the pruning shears and quiet the lawn mowers and just celebrate the new life spring heralds in.

Early spring has always been my favorite time of the year.  I love the slow, progressive awakening of all the different plants.  The glory of the blooming Bradford pear trees would be lost if they were not juxtaposed against the barrenness surrounding them.  The first asparagus spear or wildflower bloom or touch of green in the trees all seem to me to be the first notes of a marvelous symphony of life, wonderful gifts from God.

Asparagus Spear

Asparagus Spear

Here is the first turn in our stroll.  If you have never gardened with your children or grandchildren, I encourage you to start this spring.  I’m grateful for all the convenience of modern technology, but sometimes I’m saddened by the distance it creates between people, ironically at the same time it is made easier to stay in touch.  There is something about gardening that forces us to slow down and reminds us of the preciousness of life.  What a wonderful gift to share with those you love…and the stories you can share!

More years ago than I have any intention of sharing, I visited my parents’ house with my new step-daughter, Susan.  Daddy’s garden was at its peak, and she had a great time following him around and helping to harvest vegetables, learning what the different plants were.  They finished their tour, and she looked around and said, “But where’s the bacon plant?”  Right next to the eggplant, of course.

Another fond memory of mine concerns some friends with young children who had a beautiful, formal landscape in a beautiful, formal neighborhood.  The children decided they wanted a pumpkin patch, so Dad dug up a substantial chunk of his front yard, and they grew pumpkins.  I don’t know what the neighbors thought, but I bet his girls have never forgotten the year of the pumpkin.

I can’t leave the subject of gardening with children without saluting the master gardeners, teachers, family members, and other volunteers who make the Junior Master Gardener program so successful.  Thank you all so much for investing so much of yourselves in our children.  I’m convinced the seeds you are planting in their lives will continue to produce a harvest for years to come.

If you have your own stories of gardening with children, please let us know by emailing us at mgardeners@yahoo.com or by commenting below.  I would love to share your stories at a later date.  If you would like to start making your own memories, but aren’t sure where to start, let us know that, too.  We’d love to help.

Thank you for walking in the garden with me for just a little while.  Continue on around the next bend.  You never know what surprises are in store.

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Mark the date on your calendar.  The BCMGA annual spring plant sale is April 14th.  We are planning to offer the biggest selection of plants yet, along with some great seminars and children’s activities.  For more information, see our website – http://bcmgtx.org.

Until next time, happy gardening!

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One Response to “Celebrating New Life in the Garden”

  1. Patti McCarty March 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    We had a wonderful summer where we ended up keeping friends’ 2 and 4 year old girls, sometimes for days on end, while their Mom dealt with a new baby and some terrible post partum issues. The girls learned to eat veggies that summer…. and everytime they came over to our house, the snowpeas, cherry tomatoes, green beans and “baby trees” (broccoli) were stripped from the plants like we’d been hit by locusts. To this day, the girls love veggies and their little brother’s idea of a vegetable is French fries with ketchup. I fondly remember those magic days with a couple of little girls running thru the sprinkler, and sneaking under tomatoe plants looking like chipmunks with veggies stuffed in their mouths.