So, with the weather improving (I hope by saying that, I haven’t just doomed us to weeks of rain and cold) we have been out in the garden more. My children love being outside, and probably drive my neighbours slightly potty, because we aren’t exactly, ahem, quiet when we are pottering about. Little Man is fascinated by all things creepy and crawly and will yell every time he sees a snail, a spider, a fly, a ladybird, a bee, a butterfly… He also likes to chase the cats, and they tend to retreat when they see him coming, because he has managed to get hold of the garden hose, and sprayed them, much to their disgust, on more than one occasion.
I am not green thumbed, and to be honest, usually can’t tell a weed from high class horticulture (although I can tell you how to make dandelion wine, a salve from comfrey, soup from nettles, and how to make a salad with primrose leaves, and I know how to tell which mushrooms and fungi are safe to eat or not, thanks to a dedicated biology teacher at school, who was also very much into plants and natural remedies) so gardening does not come easily to me. I like having a nice tidy garden, but would also like to not have to work at it. Fortunately LSH is good at keeping it tidy, or we would live amongst weeds and nettles. (the cats wouldn’t mind either)
I do however, like helping the children to grow things, and teach them that vegetables don’t come off a shelf in the supermarket, or from the local shop. We are limited in what we can grow with our soil type, here, but every summer we get grow bags, pots and compost and we plant tomatoes, strawberries, herbs and sunflowers. The children help, and then have the responsibility of keeping an eye on the growing plants, watering them, and watching out for pests (sadly, last spring we had an attack of slugs and snails who ate all our sunflowers before they could reach their full potential, this year we are waiting for them, and will look after our seedlings better)
Big Girl doesn’t like getting her hands dirty, but will happily plant, and pot, and water when wearing gardening gloves. She and I spent a very happy hour, this weekend, potting up seeds and re-potting our strawberry plants which are doing very well. It’s nice to find a simple, out door activity, that’s also productive and educational without having to make TOO much effort. We talked about how sees germinate, and grow, and when we would pick the fruit. Again, thanks to Mr Vallot, who taught me so well, all those years ago, I am sure he will be proud to know I remember my GCSE Biology after such a long time! 🙂