Since then, I haven’t had much luck keeping anything green alive. But my interest in eating healthy, whole foods and getting my kids outside in the dirt has me willing to give this garden thing a go.
To help get me through “gardening information overload” (too many books and websites, not enough hours in the day), I decided to join the “Step-by-Step Gardening Club” created by Alison Kerr at LovingNaturesGarden.com. She’s an amazing woman who has inspired me to set my fears about gardening aside and just go for it. Best of all, she knows a ton about green living and is patient and nurturing with those of us just finding our way.
I started the online program about a month ago and hope to be planting by April. (I’d get started sooner except that this month is a busy one that culminates with a family trip to Hawaii. So April it is.)
MAKING A PLAN
The hardest part for me about gardening is getting started. That’s where Alison’s emails come in handy. Her first step is dreaming about what you want from your garden; the next is making a list based on those dreams.
Since I want to create a family garden, I decided to get my five year old involved from the start.
We sat down one day in the backyard and talked about what we wanted from our garden. There were a lot of things to decide:
- What do we want to grow – flowers or food?
- Do we want to attract wildlife?
- Where should we put our garden?
- What types of things will we need to get started?
- Where can we go to get these items?
- Who can help us if we have questions?
EXPLORING THE NURSERY
My 5 year old can certainly help me in the planning stages, but my 22 month old? Not so much.
I know from our recent adventure in the school garden that he loves being in the dirt. I thought another great way to introduce him to planting was to take him on a field trip to a local nursery.
There, we discovered seed packets, garden ornaments and lots and lots of plants and flowers. He could have sat sorting seed packets all day if I’d let him!
This trip also gave me a sense of the types of things I’ll need to get started – containers, compost, garden tools, seeds and starter plants and so on.
Alison highly encourages novice and experienced gardeners alike to find a mentor – someone you can learn from and hopefully someone who knows a few things about your specific geographical area.
Now that I’ve taken the dream of the garden into the planning stages – and involved both of the kids in the process – fellow gardeners just seem to appear. From these folks, I’m gaining valuable tips and advice that will help me forge ahead.
I’ll let you know how things shape up for us. In the meantime, I recommend you contact Alison for more info about her fantastic Step-by-Step Gardening Club.
I’d also love for you to share your own experiences of gardening with kids – what do your kids most love about their garden? What would you do differently in the future? I’m all ears!