St. Martha’s Apron Strings – Part 3, Gardening Fun

Gardening is a year round adventure, but generally makes its greatest presence in the spring and summer months. There is no reason that some form of gardening cannot be practiced in your home all throughout the year. So many unit studies spring from a foray into gardening – science and botany, nutrition, frugality, home preserving, pest control. In addition to the lessons gardening offers, it is my belief that all children should have a spot of their own to dig and grow something. It’s just a valuable and magical offering. Your child’s spot can be as simple as a pot of dirt on the patio or if you are able, a small corner of your own larger family garden. Whatever you have to offer just make it theirs; let them plan it, select seeds or plants and plant them, tend it by watering and caring for it, pick it, and then eat it. Let them get dirty. Let them spend quiet moments in their little gardens turning over to the backside of a leaf to view the caterpillar munching away. Good stuff.

I have found an absolute treasure of a book that can be used to plan an entire curriculum on gardening and botany all by itself. Sow and Grow by Tina Davis is a charming and captivating book full of delicious illustrations and ideas! This book could easily be used by a variety of age groups at once, and if you found no other book to help you cover this topic you would have more than ample instruction and inspiration in these pages.

I know I’ve mentioned before how visual I am – I do judge a book by its cover…and all of the illustrations inside as well. This book is delightfully illustrated. Botanical illustrations are all quite accurate and detailed, but are not overwhelming or busy at all. The colors are rich. The whole book just draws a child in (and, if you can’t already tell, me too).

To give you an idea of all of the information covered, I’ll list the table of contents:

All About Plants
What is a Plant?

What is a Leaf?

What is a Root?
What is a Stem?

What is a Flower?

What is a Fruit?

What is a Seed?

What a Plant Needs to Grow
All About Light
All About Water

All About Air

All About Photosynthesis

Tools You Will Need

Gardening Indoors Month by Month
January….Growing Plants from Seeds

February….Growing Plants in the Kitchen

March….Forcing Branches to Bloom Indoors

April….Eggshell Gardens

May….Window Boxes

June….Printing with Leaves

September….Pressing Flowers and Leaves

October….Forcing Bulbs to Bloom Indoors

November….Starting Plants from Leaves

December….Decorating and Caring for Houseplants

and a beautiful little section for…Gardening Notes

This is certainly a book rich in ideas and activities that need not be limited to our young ladies. All children would delight in afternoons spent reading in this book and making plans.

In continuing with the Mary Frances books, we’ll be reading Mary Frances: Adventures Among the Garden People by Jane Fryer. These books have been such a delight that Sweet Pea has already swiped several off of my shelves and read them. She absolutely loves them!! And Sparkly, my football throwing, b.b. gun shooting, pocket knife toting boy, begs her to read these books to him! Praise indeed!

In addition to Sow and Grow, I can make a few other suggestions that would be useful to have on your shelf for this study and any time you and your children find the urge to get your hands dirty. 🙂 Happy Gardening!

Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy
Sunflower Houses: Inspiration from the Garden by Sharon Lovejoy
Hollyhock Days by Sharon Lovejoy
Trowel and Error: Over 700 Tips, Remedies and Shortcuts for the Gardener by Sharon Lovejoy
All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
The Joy of Gardening by Dick Raymond

You might consider requesting a few catalogs just to get the inspirational juices flowing. Some of my favorites…

Seeds of Change
Abundant Life Seeds
Bountiful Gardens
Territorial Seed Company
Burpee Seeds and Plants

And, my favorite two sources of gardening supplies and tools…

Gardener’s Supply Company
Lee Valley Tools

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  1. Oh how I love reading your words, YES! wildflowers and marbles, and for my son Noah it was also acorns and stones.Thank you so much for recommending my books Sunflower Houses, Roots Shoots Buckets & Boots, Trowel & Error, and Hollyhock Days. I am working hard on my new book about being a Granny and all of the simple and non-purchasable pleasures of life. Keep up your great and worthwhile (and loving) work.Green blessings to you and yours,Sharon (Notes from Sunflower House and A Little Green Island

  2. Wow! I’m humbled that you would stop by my little blog, Sharon! What a treat!We love your books, and I can’t wait to see the next one!And now that I know you have a blog… 🙂 I’ll be popping over.Many blessings. Jennifer

  3. I love the statue of St. Francis! Your pictures are exactly what I needed to see. We have a few cucumbers growing in containers, and I concerned about space. Trellises are answer. It looks like such a lovely spot to sit and have a drink. I hope everything else, besides the attacked tomatoes, are thriving for you!

  4. I also love reading your words. Thank you for your lovely spirit and family.I’ve left something for you over at my blog. Come and see.

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