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