Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Gardening is a great teacher

Whether it be a tomato plant or herbs in a container on the windowsill or fire escape or a backyard garden, gardening is a great teacher for all of us. I was reminded of that yesterday as I toiled in my "Little Garden that Could" in the backyard yesterday. As I carefully planted each seedling, I thought about the time and nurturing these plants take. Weeks ago I started many of the seeds in little cups and placed them in the sunlight in my living room, then yesterday I transferred the tiny plants into the soil. I also bought a few plants that were bigger for security. The garden soil comes from our compost heap. Now I'll keep track of the weather to make sure that these plants get the water that they need. I'm also cognizant of the birds, deer, bunnies, and woodchucks that visit my yard and concerned that my tiny fence will not be enough to protect the plants from these animals. Time will tell.

What am I learning? First of all, this is a lesson in patience and nurturing as these plants demand good time and good care. Further it is a lesson in commitment--when we give good time and good care to endeavors, we reap the results. It is a lesson in making mistakes and remedying those mistakes--I find myself researching often online to find out why a seed isn't germinating or why a plant is floundering. Hopefully, in time, this result in lessons about aesthetics, harvesting, and cooking too.

Children can garner so many essential lessons about life, science, and the environment as gardeners. Especially at a time when many are learning and living with stay-at-home restrictions, gardening offers a welcome focus and pastime.