Child’s Play

As the snow slowly melts, the daylight increases, and the earth begins to warm, I find myself wanting to jump up and down with excitement like a five year-old!  Especially after the winter of 2014.  More than ever, I am ready to go outside and play in the dirt!

Playing in the garden is therapeutic for children of all ages, but I feel it’s important for us to create stewards of the land by inspiring the younger generations to enjoy time spent in the garden and to learn about plants.  Last summer I had the opportunity to try my hand at this when my friends’ kids visited my home.  My first task was to let them create the flower arrangements for our dinner table. 

Equipped with empty vases filled with water, these two youngsters scampered around my garden pointing to the different flowers and vegetation they wanted to include.  I did no editing, just followed their instructions, cutting each item they selected. From my perspective, the over-stuffed vases they assembled were flower-show worthy. Clearly, they were created with joy and passion. 

A perfect bouquet
After dinner, garden play continued as they burned energy running along the woodland trail, hopping on and off rocks, chasing bugs and using the soft-textured Stachys ‘Helene Von SteinLamb’s ears as make believe ears.  How adorable is this picture?  Can’t you just feel the joy of the moment and the velvet touch of the leaves against your own ears?
Lambs Ear as her own ears!
Not only did I have a great evening playing in the dirt with my young friends, but I know I inspired them to love all things garden-oriented.  How do I know?  Because shortly after their visit, I received hand drawn thank you cards and cardboard flowers in the mail.  The ultimate gift for me, besides these works of art, was that two young gardeners were born that day from a few hours of child’s play.  And that, my friends, is a very special reward!
Handmade card
Handmade flowers

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