Monday, May 5, 2008

Family Gardening

(Ravi next to one of our red bud trees that are pink right now)

I am the last person you would normally find writing a post on family gardening---but this year is the first year I am not pregnant or recovering from a birth so that I could actually work on my yard. Last year, in a feeble attempt to keep my perennials alive, I threw them all in a vegetable plot on the side of my garage. This year I was blessed with many, many multiplied plants that I had to quickly move to different areas of the house before they became too big. I am grateful for perennials, because most of them are hardy plants that I cannot kill!

My children and I began designing where these extra plants would go on paper. I bought gardening gloves and trowels and we went to work. The children dug holes everywhere--especially my son, Ravi (he is 7 and named after the great Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias), who is a natural gardener and very strong. Ravi and I spent multiple hours together digging, planting, weeding and being fascinated with God's creation. I cherish that time because we were able to bond and 'connect' in all the splendor of gardening God's soil. Even Janai (15 yrs old)got in on some of the fun and helped to mulch and give ideas on positioning plants and garden accessories.

(We planted a new flower bed on the front side of our garage, I can't wait until these bloom--they are lilies, buttercups, lily of the valley, azaleas, and hydrangeas in the back)

My Naomi (10 yrs. old) is quite the homemaker. I knew if I tried to grow something by seed it would probably not make it, but with her they would flourish. So I bought her a seed-starting tray and some seed packets. We now have watermelon, carrots and wildflowers for cutting actually growing! Yesterday at HomeBuilders, everyone had a chance to 'oooh and aaah' over them. We also planted some romaine lettuce out in the yard along with some chinese parsley and onions. I am hoping to get alot more out there soon--we will definitely have to extend our small plot!

(Naomi's vegetable tray)
Naomi and I also attended a plant swap in our area. Now, if you have never been to one of these things, they are great events indeed!!!!!! I was curious and a little anxious, assuming no one would want to swap so I only bought a few plants---but I went home one happy gardener with big hostas, african violets and more---all for FREE! I am happy everytime I see my new plants next to my emerging peonies. There is just something about gardening that is so therapeutic---I even saw a show on the news the other night stating how gardening is a natural stress reliever. Early in the morning I like to run outside and just look at all the spring shoots emerging from the earth and I feel calm and peaceful.

Even my little Joy (5 yrs old) found a small area by the bushes and made her own garden there of little buttercups that we gave her. She also found loads of worms (that Mommy didn't like) to save in her garden. She felt a purpose in her life to save those worms. At the end of the day, she was satisfied for she had lived the day of a heroine to those small pink worms.

I am also blessed to have an huge, awesome library only 2 minutes down the street from me that has free gardening classes through the year by master and advanced gardeners. I plan on kidnapping Janai out of her piano classes to visit these classes with me and Naomi. I am looking forward to learning much more---my nite stand can barely stand as it is overflowing in magazines, books and gardening catalogs!

(The first time the children ever planted romaine lettuce--thankfully they made it through some frost and bad storms)
Another way to gain diversity in the garden is to mention to friends that you are looking for plants---this past Sunday a friend offered some hollyhocks and hyacinths to me. I offered to come dig them out myself since she is elderly, I didn't want her to go through all the trouble---hopefully we can get out there some time next week.

Gardening is a great hobby for the whole family. It teaches the children to raise vegetable organically and frugally for their own families one day, it helps the equity of your property. It promotes beauty and gives us a greater appreciation for the Creator and His creation. I also love the spiritual truths found in gardening. God is the Master Gardener who helps to weed the sin out of our lives. He is the vine and we are the branches---apart from Him we can do nothing. How sin is like the Creeping Charley (weeds) in our yard that had taken over the garden beds---when I tried pulling them out their roots were so deeply wound around my little buttercups they almost choked them. That is what sin is like in our lives---like that awful dreaded Creeping Charley.

As you can see, I have written much about this favorite family pastime---but now it is time to run outside and get our hands dirty again....until next time...:)

(This frog likes to guard our garden, the twins love to make a big fuss over him!)


Linda said...

That frog is the coolest!! He looks like one of those bouncers in a fancy nightclub. Maybe you could outfit him with an earphone, so he looks even more 'important' ;)

Greetings from the netherlands!

Hadias said...

Thank you for sharing so many pictures of your garden. I recieve so much joy from gardening. I have a brown thumb, but I seem to do pretty good with hardy perrenials.

Great post.

Herb & Rhonda said...

A topic dear to my heart:) I was just telling the girls today--isn't it wonderful all the different plants and flowers God made for us to enjoy--He is such a creative God!! He could have just given us grass and that's it!