“Spring has sprung!”
That’s what Mum always says when we wander around our garden at this time of year. And it’s easy to see why. It really looks like, out of nowhere, stuff has literally spring out of the garden beds!
We have fruit trees that were just twigs last week and are now fully fluffy with blossom. We have daffodils and hyacinths that smell amazing, that were invisible bulbs just a moment ago. It’s really cool how with a bit of sunshine and some warmer days, the wintry dead garden springs into action.
I’ve always loved pottering in the garden with Mum. She’s got what my Dad calls a “green thumb”. It’s not actually green of course, but I think he calls it that because she’s really good at making things grow in our garden.
Mum has taught me heaps about the garden. She lets me mix all the animal poo and mulch and make a ‘delicious dessert’ for our plants. It stinks but it’s mucky and fun to mix up. She also lets me use the really sharp snippers to chop back some of the rose branches and the criss-cross twigs in the apple trees. She said that if there are too many branches crossing over each other the tree has to spend lots of energy making those branches grow instead of making apples grow – and that’s not cool! I want juicy apples to grow so I can pick them and eat them whenever I like.
I also know quite a lot about growing veggies because each season we do it together as a family. Dad uses the pitchfork to turn over the soil, whilst Mum and I fill the wheelbarrow with new soil and the ‘delicious dessert’. I love wheeling the wheelbarrow down the path to the veggie garden, going as fast as I can without spilling one speck of dirt. Once we dump it on the veggie patch we it sit for a bit while we go to Bunnings and choose which veggies we want to grow. We buy the small seedlings, the ones that have already started growing in the little pots, because Mum says I’ll get bored waiting for veggies grow right from tiny seeds. Does she really think I’m that impatient? Hmm. Maybe she’s right.
I like to see action in the garden. I like fast-growing things that are yummy to eat without cooking. This spring we have planted peas, carrots, cucumbers and zucchini. When it gets a little bit warmer we’ll plant tomatoes, corn and lettuce too. (I love eating the baby tomatoes right off the bush when they’re warm and red). I wanted to try growing watermelons but Mum says we don’t quite have enough room. They grow very big and need space to spread out apparently. So I chose instead to have a small herb garden where I planted coriander and parsley. Mum says coriander goes with anything – she loves it. My Nanny hates coriander….she says it goes with nothing! I like parsley – it’s a weird metallic taste, kind of like chewing on a spoon, but for some reason I like it!
The garden is a happy place for me and my family, especially when the sun is out and it’s all warm on my back as I bend over the veggie garden. We get heaps done in one day in the garden and we always feel ‘happy-tired’ after doing lots of lifting and digging and bending and carrying. I hope next spring I’ll be strong enough to do the pitchfork job.
Growing your own veggies is the best way really, because you know exactly where they come from and that they don’t have any of those nasty chemical on them; they always taste much better than the ones from the supermarket.
Howie really likes it when we spend a day in the garden too. He particularly likes to rummage around in the dirt and mulch when we’re out gardening. I think he likes the stink of the poo! His tail wags a LOT when we’re out gardening. I guess it’s his happy place too.
(Health, p. 39, Immune System, p.42, Rewards, p.68 – A for Attitude)