Tuesday, March 10, 2015

getting the beans IN the garden

I watched today as my beans jumped in mud puddles all over the backyard.  The melting snow coupled with warmer temperatures (finally) created the perfect day of mud jumping.  One of those sweet moments that I will have ingrained in my mind forever.

The beans are great.  
They each have their own favorite plants and are fantastic at caring for the garden.  They take time to look in the soil and explore as we go and they care if someone is careless with our plants.  Like when the tree trimmers were cutting back some branches from our gigantic ash tree and my son was concerned that they smashed our flowers.  He actually told one of the men that he hurt one of his mom's plants.  For me, it doesn't get sweeter! 

My ideas about the garden have changed.  LIVING in a garden with children is much more fulfilling than wanting a perfect space.  It has become more of an experiment with them working by my side rather than a museum of plants.

I hope to capture and encourage even more exploration this season.  Here are a few finds I thought were neat to get kids excited about being active players in the garden....

I found these organic seed collection boxes HERE  They carried many different boxes ranging from flower assortments to veggies.  



And I've been hunting for books.  This one is adorable.  It walks kids through planning and mapping out their space.  I have zinnia seeds I saved from last year to go along with the book.




We are going to be doing a little bit of journaling this season as well.  Probably just in note pads but this journal by Creative Kids caught me eye.  It has some great writing/drawing prompts for little ones.




And I think we may be trying some fun art projects like....






Here is to getting people IN the garden!  Happy week everyone!  


52 comments:

  1. Yes! Thank you for this post. I love that garden kit for kids and the journal idea is something I think I might try. I am getting ready to start our indoor garden. K really want to grow green beans. I will need to research it we can somehow grow a small garden indoors. Or, I may need to build a small raised garden. Our yard is no where ready for a garden, let alone making it animal proof.

    " LIVING in a garden with children is much more fulfilling than wanting a perfect space. It has become more of an experiment with them working by my side rather than a museum of plants."

    ^LOVE this.^ *hugs*

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  2. These are all fantastic ideas for the new growing season. That is so sweet that the beans have your love and enthusiasm for gardening. May I also suggest a ladybug release "party"? I've done that for the past couple of years with my kids. We sprinkle ladybugs all over the roses and talk about why we want some bugs in the garden but not others. But mostly, we love just love them in the garden. I think your kids would love it too. Glad to hear that the snow is finally melting. I hope you are having a good start to the week.

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  3. Gardening is more fun when you have your little helpers along with you. Loved the fact that your beans shows interest in gardening and care for them.. Have fun making new projects with your kids. Cheers:)

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  4. First, I love your comment about "living in the garden with children" - what an experience for your children.

    Second, I love that your are journaling with them.

    http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Journals-Writing-Inquiry-Through/dp/0435072218

    Above is a link to a book that a friend wrote. I took several writing/art classes from her when I was teaching. How Moon Journals became a book was from a simple comment from one of her elementary school students. A little boy looked up in the sky at recess and said to the teacher, "why is the moon still up". Joni took her students through a one month observation/journaling/art project with her class. If you would be interested, I would sent you my copy of the book since I no longer teach.

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    1. You are so kind Carol! That sounds awesome!!!

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  5. I like the thought of a garden not being a museum for plants - that is just how I feel I want my garden to be a joyous space - somewhere for me to play! When your children have grown and flown the nest then you can concentrate on a garden for you but whilst they are still young they should be able to play and enjoy their surroundings and be interested in what they can grow and hopefully give them a lifelong interest in gardening and nature.

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  6. Oh yes! My kids loved to garden when they were little. They would run around the kitchen garden, picking food with their friends. Nowadays getting them through the door is a challenge. I guess it's just their age. I hope that the foundations were laid when they were young and that one day they will venture outside again and rediscover the fun of growing plants.

    One of them recently picked up some chilli seeds in a Mexican restaurant and is growing them on her bedroom windowsill. She clearly hasn't forgotten how to sow - there were no instructions on the packet. I reckon that's a step in the right direction! Wishing you sunny, happy times in the garden.

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  7. It looks as though you are going to be having lots of fun in the garden this year!! I love the tin man idea, and can imagine the children having a lot of fun making that! xx

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  8. I love the tin man, he's brilliant. I'm sure mine would enjoy making something like that too. My garden isn't at all attractive, but it works for the children. They have a paved area to play on in winter, a grassy area for the summer and a little raised bed each. In addition it provides some food for us. So while it's not attractive, it's very functional. The dream garden will have to wait! CJ xx

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  9. wonderful post! I remember well when I was little girl and loved to help my mom and granny in the garden:)

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  10. Great finds for you and the children! I especially love the Zinnia's Flower Garden book. Of all the plants I've grown over the years, the balloon flower (platycodon) amuses the neighbor kids the most!

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  11. Nicole, I love zinnias! I try to save seeds every year. They really add so much color, and one year we got a ton of butterflies on them.

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  12. Those kids are gonna have a ball in the garden with you this summer, Nicole. I am glad it is warm enough there to get out and work in your garden. We are still two months away here. xo Diana

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  13. I wish my nieces had lived closer so I could have gardened with them...children in my neighborhood do not seem interested. Sad...have fun!

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  14. The journal is a great idea. The tin man looks fantastic too - all the better for a bit of rust! Have fun with the beans. x

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  15. You are awesome, your kids will treasure their gardens because of your love and patience to let them be involved! You are an inspiration Nicole!

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  16. A garden a museum of plants, brrr, I should not like that. I could not help laughing when your son warned the treetrimmers for smashing mums flowers. I love the children garden books, so good to learn them the process of sowing, growing and harvesting. My eldest grandson of 10 years old has his own veggie garden, and he is very keen working on his little space with a great variety of vegetables and herbs.

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  17. Oh I love how you instill gardening and exploring with your children. I am just about to get my head around my veggie and flower garden and it's overwhelming but exciting at the same time. My parents love to garden and have a small patch in their apartment in Korea. Yangkyu and I skype with them over the weekend and they have been giving us tips. And Yangkyu even joined Pinterest and have been pinning things related to our future garden! He says he wants to do a DIY compost bin. That made me happy :)

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  18. Starting getting children interested in the garden sets them up for a life long love (well it did with me), I need to get stuck into mine now getting ready for winter planting. Do you have your own garden journal?

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  19. How wonderful that your beans will be actively participating in your garden alongside you. I'm sure this will be such a rewarding experience for you and for them and the time you get to spend together will be priceless.

    Yay for warmer temps and longer days. It's 57 and gorgeous in NYC today. I could definitely get used to more of this. What cleanser did you end up buying? If you ever need any suggestions, feel free to drop me an email :) Happy Wednesday Nicole!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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  20. So fun to get the kiddos involved in gardening so young! I love all of your sweet ideas and the journal idea is wonderful. That is so sweet that your little boy tried to protect your flowers. Teaching them respect for the earth and animals is never time wasted. They will carry this forward throughout their lives. Good job, Mom! xo K

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  21. Looks like you have some really fun things planned--love it :). Gus helped me pick out seeds to order over the weekend.....now we'll see if his enthusiasm holds up for the harder parts of gardening ;)

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  22. I think that this is a terrific approach to gardening. I love the idea of keeping a journal. The beans will love it. That scarecrow is adorable!

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  23. This is such a great post!! I don't know if I'm more excited about all the great ideas you have for getting your beans to enjoy their gardening experiences or if I'm just exciting about being able to get back in the garden. Either way, I love all of these ideas. I'm going to look for "Zinnia's Flower Garden." It sounds like a great one to share with our great nieces and nephews. (no grandkids yet!) Can't wait to see what this gardening season you all will be growing this year! Enjoy, my friend!!

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  24. Dear Nicole,

    So lovely that your dear children have the gardening gene like their Mum. Hope they enjoy the lovely plants that grow in the garden.
    Sending hugs and wish you a great week
    Carolyn

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  25. My darling little grandson is not a gardener. I am going to send him some scarlet runner beans and some nasturtium seed this year to see if I can get him hooked. I'm planning a scarlet runner tepee this summer too.

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  26. How much fun is mud puddle plodding! The beans are going to grow into great gardeners. I have a soft spot for zinnias. My grandma's vegetable garden was bordered on all sides with bright zinnias. She said they kept the bugs off the veggies. I now know she was using companion planting for pest control. Happy growing!

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  27. That's nice ! I love the rusty scarecrow !

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  28. You are such a wonderful Mother, teaching your children to love the Earth, it doesn't get better than that.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  29. A great book that I read to my kids all the time was The Two Little Gardeners. http://www.randomhouse.com/book/19829/two-little-gardeners-by-margaret-wise-brown-and-edith-thacher-hurd

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  30. Nicole: I love that you are passing on your love of gardening to your beans. That is a great gift. I also wanted to thank you for your very sweet comment about my sewing room. Keep making the world a more beautiful place! -Derrith

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  31. Gardens are such a great learning living space. The beans are so lucky and blessed to have such a wonderful, creative , nurturing mother. Our kids still talk about digging up potatoes , picking beans and tomatoes when they were little.And there was a snake we called Sammy that used to have a sunbath on a big rock in our yard. Great memories.Sadly so many kids have no idea where there food comes from. I love your garden man, lots of fun things to do and plan. Spring is the best for that. Hope it's warming up for all of you. Have a happy weekend!

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  32. Hello Nicole, I just found your blog and you seem to have a lot going on and most of it garden related, which I love. So glad spring has finally come!
    Amalia
    xo

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  33. Love this! When we live in a wanna be Pinterest world, it's hard for us to accept the muddy slop of reality, but that is life and it's fun to let go and jump in the mud, even if it means making ruts in a perfect yard. xoxo You are a rockin mamma!

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  34. How fun, my friend! Fun for you and for your sweet kiddos :) Last year was my first time having a vegetable garden and it was thanks to my young son....he kept asking to plant seeds :) Thanks to him I am hooked and we will be having another garden this year.

    Hugs to you, dear Nicole!

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  35. These are awesome ideas! I love the man made out of cans!

    WritingMonique

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  36. Our girls have been getting out as the weather warms up but it is still a bit hit and miss here. Here's to being outside. Jo x

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  37. A very nice packet! I like to get it one. That's so nice to work on the garden with our kids. Although sometimes they just do any mess.

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  38. Love this Nicole. We are hoping to start up 3 wee "fairy" gardens for our three so it will bloom and grow with them throughout spring and summer. it is lovely to see them get into it I agree! the experience is more fulfilling than the picture sometimes x

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  39. When my daughter was a toddler, she would rip cherry tomatoes off the vine and run around the yard squeezing them while squealing and laughing. We ate the tomatoes out of her reach. I have a picture of her covered in mud and tomato seeds. It is the picture of bliss. :o) Plant museums are boring, anyway.

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  40. Jumping in mud puddles sound like so much fun and I absolutely LOVE these fun activities for kids in the garden. Bookmarking this post for when Little A is old enough.

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  41. So pretty. This put me in the spring spirit. I just saw a bug crawling across the counter while making coffee and said, "This is the only thing I HATE about this time of year." Bugs. You've reminded me there's so much more to love.

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  42. That journal looks like fun for the little ones :)

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  43. Any way to get them out in the dirt is a good way, as far as I'm concerned!

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  44. What a great idea to get the kids involved early in the garden! My children are all grown and have found their way into the garden as adults. Maybe my granddaughters will want to find their way in with me!!

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  45. Dear Nicole, I think your approach when it comes to children and gardening is great! So much more important to get the kids involved in gardening and hopefully instill the love of gardening and nature in them at an early age than having the perfect garden.
    Christina

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  46. Everything you have written here hits so close to my heart. First, definitely, my garden is not a museum and FAR from perfect. It's quite messy, actually. We have heavy winds all of the time so our big pine tree drops needles and debris everywhere. I have stopped trying to clean it up. I was going insane. Everywhere I looked, leaves, pine needles, weeds, everywhere...still....everywhere. It's a real garden. Certainly not one from a magazine. ;) Although, those are lovely too. :) Hmmm...thinking I will put this whole comment in a blog post. You got me rolling here....next...how neat your adorable beans are gardeners. Mine don't have too much interest at all. :( My younger ones, sometimes. Love the tin man scarecrow. So sorry I haven't been around much. I have been buried in dirt. I'll post about it soon! Much love dear! xoxoxoxoxo Jen

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  47. Like you and your beans, I am ready to get outside and get things growing before it gets really hot. It looks like you will all kinds of fun this spring!

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  48. Oh, I do agree with you that a garden is a wonderful space for children and best when it teeters on a bit of creative chaos! Visiting children to my garden have always been easily entertained by eating/smelling/touching games; eyes closed, guess the herb, pulling the longest/most misshapen carrot and so forth. When our daughters were small they each had a Khaki Campbell duck, Daisy and Delia, and apart from delicious eggs they provided a lot of fun and kept the snail population in check!

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  49. Thank you for your kind words on my blog Nicole. I can't wait to get into our garden. The snow has to leave at some point!

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  50. What fun for your children (and for you) to do some seed sprouting. It's always fun to watch things grow.

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