Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ABC Wednesday: Starting Them Young

We are nearing the end of the alphabet, and today I am going to stretch this meme a little in order to post a topic I've wanted to write about for a month. Today's Y is for . . .

. . . Young Gardeners

I pride myself on saying that I do everything in the garden myself from digging up new areas to planting to weeding. Or maybe it's just that because no one else helps me that I enjoy playing the martyr:) Either way, it's not entirely true, because I do have some young helpers in the garden occasionally.

Grandson #2 came over to help Grandma one very warm day near the end of May. He was so excited to be able to help me plant flowers in the new butterfly garden, and he came prepared with work clothes and gardening boots. Grandma just happened to have a new pair of gardening gloves just his size. (No, he's not doing a tribute to Michael Jackson here; one glove mysteriously disappeared during the afternoon, never to be seen again.)

He soon learned that gardening can be an adventure, as a toad suddenly popped out of the box of seedlings to be planted. Many attempts were made to catch Mr. Toad, but eventually he found his way into the garden where hopefully he is still happily munching away on unwanted insects.

Granddaughter #2 is a true nature-lover and another garden helper. But, having recently turned six, she had a busy schedule in May with kindergarten, soccer, and T-ball. She never had a chance to help me plant as we had planned, but she did help me plant a few flowers at her house. And she was so excited this spring when the bulbs she and I had planted last fall produced some lovely blooms, especially in her favorite pink and purple.

But her younger brother, just turned two, did help Grandma a little in the garden when he spent the night one evening. Those tall weeds were no match for his big muscles.

Of course, after all that hard work gardening, a boy has to have some time to play. GS #2 was thrilled to be the first to try out the new toy Grandpa had bought for the grandkids. Our large yard soon became a race track:)

Too small for the motorcycle, Youngest Grandson got his first chance at the John Deer "Gator. " He hasn't yet mastered how to use the pedal, but Grandpa found a long handle and patiently walked behind, applying the "gas."

When Grandpa or Grandma got too tired of walking behind, Littlest One found other ways to entertain himself. Besides mastering the steering, he became quite good at sounding the horn.

And when all else fails, there are other ways of getting a vehicle to move:)

While none of my children seem the least interested in gardening, I think there is hope here for another generation of gardeners. And even if the grandchildren lose interest for awhile, we have had some special times in the garden.
For other ideas on the letter Y, visit the ABC blog.


  1. What fun memories you are making with your grandchildren! I had to laugh about the missing glove. I recently bought a package of 3 pairs of gloves on impulse, even though I already have several pairs, but right now, there are about 5 left hand gloves, and 1 right hand one that I keep misplacing.

  2. That was so sweet and I can see green thumb in all the little ones. What fun to watch your grandkids! Especially the youngest one must be a real entertainer. He's ultra sweet.

  3. this sounds like memories your grandkids won't soon forget. I love to hear stories about children & nature. Great Y post.

  4. What sweet Young gardeners you have to help you, and what nice memories you are giving them....

  5. and a touch of yellow to boot!

    WV: lambl - young (sheep) 1

  6. Gardeners of the future! Strange how it can miss a generation!
    Great photos of your grandchildren! They will cherish the time they spent with you.

  7. You are definitely making memories for the grandkids. I can see why they like visiting you. Young is the perfect word for the ABC Wednesday.

  8. With that kind of help Grandma should have no problem keeping the garden in order!

  9. What a wonderful post for this week's "Y"! You are creating so many fun memories for your grandchildren and I think it is awesome that you want to pass on the love of gardening to them! :)

  10. What magical times you're having in the garden with your grandchildren Rose. Looks like they'll have a love of gardening and nature for life :)

    Will be looking out for your public planting photos shortly!

  11. Awwww! They are darling! I trick my kids into weeding by asking them to dig in the beds for worms. They just happen to turn the soil and deweed it in the process!

  12. Rose, I am amazed at how much the 2 grandsons are growing! Time sure has a way of going by in a hurry, especially where the grands are concerned.
    What wonderful times they are having with you in the garden and as others have said, the memories will last them a lifetime.

    I think one of a pair of gloves is trained to disappear so you have to keep buying new ones. :)

  13. Nice post Rose. I love having the kids in the garden. When you add the toad as an added attraction, wonderful!! Your grandkids are sure cute...love him pushing the John Deere.
    Mine helped with the veggie garden, though they ate most of the snow peas while picking. Hard to have any inside when they get eaten!

  14. Rose girl , your little grandkids are too cute : )
    It is a wonderful gift to be patient and let them explore what gardening is about .. it will stick with them and perhaps much later in their lives they will turn to it for enjoyment and comfort the way we do ? : )

  15. That's the way to start their interest Rose, when their young. My youngest loved to help me in the garden when he was a bit younger. He's 16 now so he has better things to do with his time I guess, lol. Cute pics, love your youngest GS pushing the tractor. ;)

  16. Hi Rose, what cute photos! I remember well the hours my Dad made us spend weeding, mowing, hoeing, etc. I never really appreciated all I was learning until I got my own garden;) Keep teaching them, someday they will look back and say, "That's how Grandma taught me."

  17. Rose this is such a sweet post. Your grandkids are so cute. Glad you are able to create some memories for them.

  18. They are so cute! What fun to have little ones in the garden. I can't wait until my grandson moves closer. He has grown so much and they do change a lot. It's wonderful these young helpers are close by.

  19. Wonderful post of young gardners and wonderful memories to share.

  20. Beautiful children and a beautiful garden! They are lucky to have you :)

  21. Sue, I have a sneaky suspicion that my Golden Retriever pup is the culprit here--she loves to chew on my gardening gloves.

    Chandramouli, The grandkids are a joy; I'm glad I have more time to spend with them now that I am retired.

    Lily, I do hope they remember this; I know both the 5 and 6-year olds remember what we planted last year.

    Hildred and Charles, They are special times indeed.

    Roger, I had thought about using yellow today, but pink and purple predominate in my garden:)

    Maggie May, I didn't spend much time gardening when my children were young, so that is probably why. I am making up for lost time with the grands.

    Photowannabe, I am happy that all my grandkids love coming here. I'm making the most of it before they get too old to enjoy the simple things.

    RuneE, Unfortunately, they haven't been over to help me weed:)

    Phoenix, I enjoy spending time with the grandkids no matter what we're doing. But I do love seeing them enjoy nature.

  22. VP, I do hope they will continue to enjoy gardening. One more photo to take, and then my OOTS post should be ready!

    Marie, What a clever idea! I'm trying to teach my dog which plants are weeds, since she loves to dig:)

    Beckie, Aren't they growing? Time goes by so quickly. I think Sophie may have had something to do with the missing glove:)

    Janet, The little one remembers that the John Deere is parked in the barn. He heads there first every time he comes over:)

    Joy, I do hope the grands will continue to enjoy the garden. It's fun to share this with them.

    Racquel, I didn't garden much when my kids were younger; perhaps one day they will also be interested--I was a "late bloomer," too.

    Marnie, I spent a lot of time when younger in the vegetable garden, too. It took me awhile to appreciate it, but I certainly do now.

    Susie, Can you tell I'm a proud grandma?:)

    Tina, I am so fortunate to have all my grandkids live close by. Even then, they seem to grow up and change so fast.

    Vicki, I hope I'm creating memories for them--they certainly are for me.

    Suburbia, Just remember when you feel wistful that your kids are growing up too fast, you have the grandchildren to look forward to one day:) I became a grandmother at your age!

  23. Thank you for the delightful series of photos and the story behind them. Your grandchildren are very sweet! And thanks to them your garden is in excellent condition!!

  24. Lovely post! I'm sure that your young gardeners will learn many things !

  25. Yes, those Young Gardeners are a joy to have. Those gloves are pesky things going off by themselves and getting lost. A green glove too, no wonder it was lost. Maybe it will turn up in the snow covered garden because you will then be able to seee it.

  26. What adorable helpers you have, Rose! It sounds like y'all are having a splendid time growing together!

  27. Dear Rose,
    The youngsters are so cute!
    Glad you have some help too.
    Happy ABC Wednesday.
    I am looking forward to the next round.

  28. Delightful Rose....so lovely to watch your grandchildren doing their own thing....
    I am glad that they are interested in gardening ......from little seeds the might oak tree grows....you are planting seeds. With climate change, I believe, gardening will become more and more important....wildlife will depend on us to supply them with habitats as the world changes due to heating up.......I believe, we need to show our grandchildren the way, to help them with what is ahead......

    Yours grandson is a very handsome young man.......who does he look like??

    A really lovely post and one that warms my heart.
    I know what it is like doing all the work in the garden Rose, well done you....pat on the back from me.......

  29. What a fun garden day with these cute little helpers! This is a wonderful series of photos and a great Y post.

  30. Hi Rose, what a delight! Gardening sometimes does skip a generation. My own parents were not interested at all, but both grandmothers were avid about gardening. Your little helper with one glove made me laugh out loud. Those rascally gloves like to play hide and seek. We often find them at my daughter's buried in the dirt, along with socks. HA

  31. Reader Wil, The grandchildren have fun digging in the dirt and are delighted to see their plantings eventually bloom.

    Miss Yves, They are learning, and they're very proud of "their" flowers!

    Lisa, Sophie may have been the culprit to the missing glove...she's eaten a few of mine:)

    Cindy, Grandma gets tired very quickly when playing baseball, but we can garden all day!

    Sherry, The grandkids really look forward to helping me in the garden. It's a special time for me.

    Cheryl, I do hope that the grandkids will continue to enjoy gardening. Granddaughter, not pictured here, has really taken to it. Grandson #2 looks like his mother and a little like my husband; littlest grandson looks like his dad with his blond hair and blue, blue eyes. I think they're all very handsome, of course:)

    Carol, Thanks; we did have fun!

    Frances, I looked all over for that glove, but never found it! I don't remember helping my grandmother garden, but she had her special flower garden as well as a big vegetable garden. Many of her flowers are still growing at my parents' home.

  32. What really beautiful grandchildren you have, the little two year old is so sweet! How nice that your granddaughter was thrilled to see the fruits of her labour, it sounds like you are instilling them with your own love of gardening. I wonder if the glove was planted along with the plants, you may never know ;)

  33. Rose, my parents had no interest in gardening, but my grandmother always let me "help" her in her garden, and I loved it! You are indeed helping the next generation grow up to be gardeners!! Good for you!

  34. A wonderful post. I am just starting summer with the grandsons - 5 of them between 11 and 13. I can't wait until The Major (grandpa) decides they are old enough to use the riding mower. We grands are so lucky when we can spend time with the grandchildren, in and out of the garden.

  35. Rose, Your young helpers are wonderful and the two year is too precious. Do you suppose the green glove will grow, surely it was planted! I tried so hard to get my son to participate in gardening! He fought me tooth and nail! But, he is working on his doctorate in biology and researching invasives impact on various ecosystems. So something took! gail

  36. such precious memories with your little ones.

    The fact that you love the work will influence the little ones, for sure!

  37. Shy Songbird, I think they're pretty sweet, too:) I had never thought about the glove being planted; that would be funny.

    Joyce, I helped my mother in the vegetable garden, but that felt like "work" to me. Perhaps if I could have helped Grandma with her flowers, I might have taken to gardening at a younger age.

    Pat, 5 boys who are preteens! That would certainly keep you busy. My husband is waiting for the day, too, when one of the grands is old enough to mow.

    Gail, The two-year-old is growing up too fast! I didn't teach my children much about gardening, so I guess it's my own fault they're not as interested. Though they may change, as I did. Your son's work sounds very important to everyone, including gardeners.

    Karyn, We do have fun while we're gardening!

  38. You know, I think helping Grandma in the garden is every bit as important and educational as soccer and T-ball! Kindergarten is, of course, a very serious business! LOL!

    Lovely pictures of the youngsters. You have some wonderful toys for them!

  39. That's fabulous! What gorgeous grandchildren you have!

    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog!

  40. Jay, Gardening gives the grands a different kind of activity and a chance to explore nature and accomplish something as well. Of course, Grandma just enjoys spending time with them:)

    Liz, Every grandmother thinks her grandchildren are the most beautiful and precious children there are--just wait:)

  41. Wow, your grandkids have great toys at your house! I was amused that my 24-year-old niece wanted to go to the Denver Bot with me and she actually seemed excited about some of the plantings. She had ZERO interest in gardening as she was growing up... she's in a condo now but if/when she moves to a house, well, I think I can get her to grow a few things. :)


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