Budding Gardener

Although my granddaughter doesn’t know it yet, she’s a budding gardener. You see, she’s arriving for a three-day visit this afternoon and Mimi (that would be me) has a few tricks up her sleeve.

Don’t worry, they’re good tricks.

In readiness for Caitlin’s visit, I’ve made what I hope will be the first of many secret gardens we’ll explore together. This one is a fairyland in an apothecary jar, custom made to engage her imagination. We’ll create rain in the terrarium to keep the garden green and we’ll tell stories about what the fairy does when we’re not looking.

Fairy garden for Caitlin.

Fairy garden for Caitlin.

There’s also a fairy dress for Caitlin to wear. And I know just the store where she can pick a floral wreath for her beautiful brown hair and perhaps even a wand for casting magical fairy spells.

Fairy dress, with a little imagination...

Fairy dress, with a little imagination…

During a summer visit, when she’s a little older, we’ll make a woodland fairy garden in a rustic trough with pebbles, sticks, and floral snippets. I’ve found a great little hidey-hole under the hemlock tree where we can make a secret place to read a story and eat a cookie. But those dreams are for the future.

For now, I’ve filled her bedside table with a carefully chosen selection of nature-focused books. We’ll read What’s Under the Log and What’s in the Pond by Anne Hunter and we’ll chant nursery rhymes like “Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?” from Sally Mavor’s Packetful of Posies.

Come read with me about the red eft and the mayfly and the black sheep.

Come read with me about the red eft and the mayfly and the black sheep.

And one afternoon, we’ll make suet for the birds, because, after all, 2-year olds like to get their hands dirty. Then, we’ll take the suet outside to the feeder and rush inside to watch from the window to see who comes for supper.

Long ago and far away I shared dreams like these with two little boys. Instead of fairies, there were dump trucks and spades and a sunny garden where we grew tomatoes and watermelons and a pink rose. More than a few precious memories grew there too.

Mother's Day book written by Daniel St.Clair,  second grade, 1994.

Mother’s Day book written by Daniel St.Clair, second grade, 1994.

What tricks do you have to share with a budding gardener?

20 thoughts on “Budding Gardener

  1. Elaine

    Ah, that is wonderful, Marian. Caitlin will always remember her “nature lessons” from her Mimi.
    In my Montessori School for 3 and 4 year olds, we had gardens that the children planted and cared for, as well as planting bulbs for the spring, and tapping the old maple tree outside our school (boiling the sap to make maple syrup to put on their own homemade pancakes). Lots of books about the loving care of our land, gardens, and wildlife. I received as much from this experience as the children. Know you will enjoy and remember this time with Caitlin. Elaine

  2. Babs Condon

    I absolutely love this posting Marian….and it gives me lots of wonderful ideas to use with my grandson Tyler and the two other “coming soon” grandkids. I know you and Caitlin will spend some wonderful “fairy” time together…I can just picture you now. Do you still have your fairy wreath from our HQ fairy time? If not – you can make one very easily! Babs

  3. Ann Jones

    How precious. I think you and Caitlin are lucky to have each other! Have a wonderful time with her. I leave next Wednesday for Sarah’s to keep Keller while they go skiing with friends (except Sarah can’t ski or drink or go in the hot tub since she’s pregnant!) I’m sorry I moved before Daniel gave you that precious book. What a treasure! I was planning to go to West End Upholstery tomorrow to see why she won’t cover my furniture. With ice predicted, I just might have to wait on that! Have a wonderful weekend. (I know you will!) aj


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