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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query garden. Sort by date Show all posts

Gardening Blog Hop

Patio garden with vegetable garden in background
We spent a good part of last weekend outside in our gardens. One of the major issues we have in our yard is that we do not have great sun in the back yard. My vegetable garden was slowly being shaded by the trees, so Steve dug me some more space in the other direction so we could plant all of our seedlings and seeds (which Hazel chose). This garden has been taken over by raspberries and oregano. I pulled most of the raspberries out because they need too much space for the room we have and I always am pulling out the oregano, but it keeps coming back. In fact it even managed to spread over to the patio garden! Not sure how that happened.
Steve extending my vegetable garden
While Steve dug my extension, Hazel and I tackled the weeds in the patio garden. We had really let them go and since they had flowers we left them there, but they were taking over so it was time. Hazel was a great helper. She brought over her little wagon and helped pull a few, but since I kept filling the wagon she kept taking it to empty it for me.

After having lunch outside, Steve went on to dig Hazel's sunflower garden. This garden will hopefully be a sunflower house this year for Hazel. Next year we may pick a different theme like a pizza garden. These ideas came from Sharon Lovejoy's Roots Shoots Buckets & Boots: Activities To Do in the Garden. For some of the other books we have been using as a reference check out this post.
Sunflower Garden

For now we left the center of our sunflower garden grass so it will be more comfortable as a sunflower house.

While Steve started on the sunflower garden, Hazel and I started planting our seedlings. (See Post 1, Post 2, and Post 3 for previous mention of these seedlings.) Hazel wanted to start with the patio garden, but grew bored and went off to play while I planted some of our marigold seedlings and seeds.
Patio Garden
Fairy in Our Patio Garden

Simba's Memorial

She got interested in our garden again when it was time to plant the pumpkins, watermelon and zucchini in our vegetable patch. We also planted some marigolds around the edge to keep the pests out. We are trying one of those Topsy Turvy things for a tomato plant since our tomatos have not done well in our garden. We put it over near the sunflower garden since it gets the most sun in our back yard.

Then we ended our day planting the sunflower seedlings and seeds around the giant circle that Daddy dug. You can see the picture above. What are you growing this year?

Now it is your turn to share with us! 
I have been invited to co-host a blog hop on gardening with
Please visit my co-hosts and check out their wonderful garden posts as well!!
This is a blog hop. Please join us as we know Crafty Moms Always Share!!

The Garden Classroom--Book Review

One of the gladiolas blooming in my yard
As you probably have guessed I love gardening. Or maybe I should say I love the products of a garden (I am lucky enough to have a wonderful husband who likes to do much of the labor for me). I also love the planning. Well my love of nature comes from how my parents brought me up. Each of us girls had our own flower garden in our yard. We also helped choose and plant the vegetables in my father's big vegetable garden. I still remember the day my father dug out my little flower garden in the middle of the grass between the patio and the evergreens bordering our property. I cannot tell you how young I was, but I wanted my own garden space so he made me some. Each spring we would go to a local nursery and get to pick out flowers for our garden space. We would also go through the Burpee Seed Catalog to choose which vegetables we would try. I remember several years trying carrots, because I love carrots. Needless to say my upbringing taught me how important it is to love nature and to garden. Ever since I have always tried to grow something. Even when I lived in apartments without garden space I grew plants on balconies. Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you a wonderful e-book written by Cathy over at the Nuture Store.

Cathy just released the e-book, The Garden Classroom: 52 Kids Gardening Activities this week. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy to review for you!!
The Lower Garden in My Parents Yard

First let me start off with if you have not visited the Nuture Store you are really missing something. It is one of my favorite places to go and get ideas. Now this book takes so many of the wonderful gardening with kids ideas floating around out there and puts them in one place as well as introducing some new ones. 
Hazel helping Pop water the flowers at the Cape

The book starts with the introduction as to why gardening with kids is important and goes into the basics of gardening from starting seeds to choosing the right plants for your area, etc. Yes, even if you haven't planted a seed before, you will be able to use this book!

Let's face it, children love playing with dirt, leaves and water. Thus they will love gardening. It combines all of it and you can also teach them while doing this. The Garden Classroom goes beyond just the garden and crafts for the garden, but also gives you math activities, science experiments, literacy activities and so much more. If you are homeschooling, this book is a perfect addition to any curriculum.
Hazel's Sunflower Garden (First Planted)

I, of course, love the crafts and art that goes along with it. There are the creative ideas for planters and watering cans to the flower related crafts that can be done in the colder weather. We will definitely be doing some of these and you may see us delve into some of the sunflower activities as Hazel's sunflower garden grows. I love all the different ideas introduced there.

So I recommend you go visit the Nuture Store and purchase a copy of this wonderful e-book. It will be a wonderful addition to your library for great activities to get your child outside and moving!

Summer Virtual Book Club for Kids--Kevin Henkes' My Garden

Oh, I am so excited!! Today has finally arrived!! This month for the Summer Virtual Book Club for Kids the author is one of our favorites: Kevin Henkes. Today we will be discussing his book, My Garden.

For those of you who have not read about the Summer Virtual Book Club for Kids I am participating with 20+ other blogs to run this blog hop. Each of us is showing some activity to go with a Kevin Henkes book (and not all the same ones), so please stop in and check out some of the exciting things others are up to. The blogs participating in hosting this blog hop are:

Please make sure you visit them and check out their posts. Also, several of us have exciting giveaways to run later this week thanks to Harper Collins, so make sure you check out later in the week each one as well!
"If I planted seashells, I'd grow seashells."--from My Garden by Kevin Henkes

Now onto some of our things with My Garden. My Garden was the second Kevin Henkes book we discovered. The first is Little White Rabbit. If you have not read either of theses, I highly recommend them. They are favorites in our house. Both inspire imagination as well. My Garden is told from a young girl's voice telling you about her mother's garden and how she helps then she tells you what she wants her garden to be like. This provides so many openings for educational ideas. You could easily plan a garden with a seed catalog. For younger kids just ask what they would like in their garden. For older kids you could have them look up the space needed for such plants and actually have them draw out plans for the garden.

We did not go that route. For awhile I considered having a My Garden Birthday Party for Hazel, so I have spent many hours thinking about the different things the young girl says she will have in her garden and how to represent them. As you see above, the seashell flowers that we used in her nursery rhyme party would also work here. But our major one is the jelly bean bush. I thought about this for awhile and even mentioned it to the children's librarian at our local library. I had decided to make Rice Krispie Treat Jelly Bean Bushes and she told me about Corn Flake Wreathes which would look more realistic for the leaves. So this is what we did. We found a recipe at Kelloggs. We followed the recipe but made mounds for bushes and topped them with our favorite jelly beans from a local candy store. I have to say this treats are not helping me lose weight since they are so delicious!! And for the first time, Hazel has actually said she likes jelly beans. She loved making these. By the way, we decided to make small bushes instead of a big one for ease of sharing and eating!
A little note about melting the marshmallows and butter in the microwave. Do not cover or the marshmallows balloon up. (Please learn from my mistake!)

Another idea we had was to make glowing strawberry lanterns. However with my being sick last week, it did not happen. I was imagining making decoupage around water balloons with red tissue paper and then painting black dots on them (and of course popping the balloons) and sticking in a battery operated light or a string of lights and stringing them. My other idea was red tissue paper on baby food jars and cutting out green felt leaves and using battery operated tea lights. Sorry we didn't get to try this, but maybe we will share it later in the run of this blog hop since it goes on for three weeks!

Our final simple idea is the flowers that change colors. I got this idea from a Sharing Saturday from a few weeks ago. A Happy Song shared her Scrap Paper Dolls. I loved this idea and as I started thinking about the flowers that changed colors I thought this would be perfect. First I found a stencil of a flower I liked. I found a border of them at I printed it on cardstock and then cut out the petals, center and stems with an Exacto knife. Then I just gave Hazel scraps of scrapbook paper to put under them. So much fun!

Ok, now it is your turn. Feel free to link up your Kevin Henkes inspired activities below and feel free to grab a button so others can find our blog hop! This button takes you to our Facebook page! Oh, and for those of you who like to plan ahead--we are continuing this for the whole year and September's author is Lois Ehlert.

Starting My Garden & Other Gardening Projects

You may remember I posted in April about getting my plants started for my garden. This past weekend we replanted them and planted some more seeds. Of course now that I replanted them, the weather has gotten much colder. Oh, well. I have also been doing a lot of gathering of different gardening books and in particular ones with ideas for gardening with children. I will share several of them with you here, so keep reading!! The first one I found and love is Roots Shoots Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy. This book has some great ideas for gardens to grow with children. The idea we took from it this year is a sunflower garden that can be a fun place house/hiding space. Thus why we are growing so many sunflowers. We will be doing other ideas from it in later years. She also has wonderful ideas on what to do if you do not have much space and other issues.
Our marigolds less than a week after we planted them!

A companion to Roots Shoots Buckets and Boots is Sunflower Houses also by Sharon Lovejoy. I found this one this year at Drumlin Farms in the gift shop. This book has great ideas on things to do with items from your garden for children. She literally interviewed adults and asked them what they remember about gardening as a child and wrote down some of the most popular things in this book. Needless to say sunflower houses is one of them, but not the only one. There are also hollyhock dolls and more. I bought a few hollyhock bulbs and we are going to plant them along the driveway edge to help give a little more privacy from the street. This will also be right in front of the sunflower garden, so I'm hoping it will help keep it more private as well.
Garden Diary

Of course I also started a garden diary. I used it to plan out where we would put the sunflower garden so Steve could visualize it more and planned out where to plant the vegetables that Hazel picked out. I am also going to have Hazel look through magazines and seed catalogs to cut out pictures of gardens, flowers, plants that she likes and glue them in and any seed packages, etc. and any comments we have on how they grow for future gardens.

A book I just found at the library is Project Garden by Stacy Tornio. It goes month by month with different things to do for your garden as well as crafts, recipes, etc. Talk about some quality family time ideas. This book looks great. I think I'm going to add it to my must buy list. It has so many great ideas and is a great resource for some of the common plants people grow around here at least.

Hazel's Herb Garden Box
We took a few ideas from another great book, Green Thumbs by Laurie Carlson. This book has so many great ideas in it for activities to do with children. Another must look at book for anyone who wants to teach their child about the plant growth cycle and other need things with plants. One idea was to do a window herb garden. I planted one for Hazel for her room (she didn't want to help when it came time to plant it). I picked herbs that would be fragrant as well as tasty, so we could also use it for our senses. I used lavender, lemon basil, dill, sage, and rosemary.

Another idea we got from Green Thumbs is to make a flower press. I love pressing flowers and using them in crafts or on note cards. I usually just layer the flowers in printer paper and pile books on them, however I loved this simple flower press to make instead. (I have also eyed some at stores and refuse to pay what they ask for them when they look so easy to make. I just need to get some wood and screws to do it properly.)

I made a couple of changes, but nothing to serious. Materials I used are two pieces of cardboard (I used the bottom of my water bottle cases), a piece of contact paper, masking tape or duct tape in a pretty color, at least 2 yards of ribbon, an exacto knife and paper towels and a heavy book. I added the contact paper because I wanted to make it a bit more water proof. I first let Hazel decorate one side the cardboard and I labeled it Hazel's Flower Press. Then we put the contact paper on one side of each cardboard piece (not the decorated side). Then we used the tape to soften the edges of the cardboard. I let Hazel put it on one piece somewhat by herself, so it is not perfect. Then use the exacto knife to cut four slits in both pieces of cardboard where you will thread the ribbon through.
Thread the ribbon through so it looks like this (this is the side with contact paper--I used clear so you can't see it).  Now it is ready to use. You should be able to tie the ribbons into bows otherwise you need longer ribbons.

Now pick some flowers to press. Layer them in paper towels on the inside of the flower press (contact paper is on inside of both cardboard pieces). Close press and tie. Then put on hard surface (table, wood floor, etc.) and cover with a large book (I used a dictionary).

In a few days you will have some nicely pressed flowers when you open up your press.

Some books we have been enjoying to learn more about the seeds and the particular plants we are growing. (I shared a few here.)

 This looks like a great book really explaining the process of growing pumpkins and what a pumpkin is. We haven't read it yet.

I shared some good pumpkin books in October as well.

This is a counting book with seeds and then with the harvest they count by tens. Hazel loves it!

This is pretty good, but a tiny bit above Hazel's understanding level. She wasn't really interested when we read it.

We just got this one from the library. It looks like it may be above her head a bit as well, but we will see.

This is where I link up...

Spring Fever: Planting Hazel's Meadow/Garden

Spring has finally hit our area. It is hard to believe it is already May and the temperatures are just getting to be springlike. After school and gymnastics class, Hazel wanted to come home and get outside. I didn't blame her. She asked if she could plant some flowers in her garden. A few weeks ago we read Henry Cole's On Meadowview Street and Hazel wanted to do what Caroline did in the book.

In this book, a young girl named Caroline moves into a new house on Meadowview Street. While her family is settling in she decides to see if there is a meadow on Meadowview Street. On her way to see, she sees one lone flower growing in the middle of the lawn. She wants to save the flower and finds some sticks and string to rope it off. As the flower grows more flowers come up and she expands her meadow. Birds and bugs come to visit and soon she wants a tree. Eventually her whole yard is a meadow and some of the neighbors follow suit. 

Since we don't have a random flower in the middle of our yard, Hazel decided she would do it in her garden. Last year Steve dug me a new garden with better sunlight, so my old garden became Hazel's. It has my oregano and our raspberry bushes in it, but otherwise is hers to play and/or plant. Since she wanted a meadow, I bought her some butterfly and hummingbird flower seeds. We also found all the flower seeds from the past couple years that hadn't been finished. We figured we can see what will grow. The first thing we had to do was get rid of the weeds. Hazel took out her hoe, but I didn't get any pictures of it. Steve dug up some of the oregano (which has taken over this garden the past few years) and then our landscaper came and he wanted some to take home so he dug up the rest of what I didn't want. Once the weeds were up, Hazel began planting the seeds. I planted some of the milkweed seeds we found in the beginning of April. Then I explained to Steve that she wanted to rope it off like the girl in the book. He pulled out some of my stakes and I gave them some string. 

We also released her ladybugs today. They did not seem to want to leave their plastic home, so we put it in the garden.

Hazel had so much fun, digging, planning and planting. I hope some of it grows for her, but I figured we can always buy some annuals if they don't. For now the fun is just the hope and getting out there. Plus we let her do what she wanted with all the seeds. She asked for help with pouring them into her cup.

She and I discussed where to plant the sunflowers. This year I bought her pink sunflowers (Ms. Mars from Burpee). I hope they grow since she is so excited for them. I also found an old pack of yellow sunflowers and we mixed them up for her. 

Steve asked if she wanted a scarecrow for her garden and put it in for her. Then he helped her rope it off (while I took a nap). 

When Hazel came in, I ran out to get a picture of the final product. They added some more things like a "Welcome to my garden" sign and fences. Hazel also wants to put her wooden bird feeder and bird bath that she and Steve put together. That may be tomorrow's adventure.

Hopefully later in the year, we will have a butterfly and hummingbird paradise. I'll let you know!

For more of our gardening posts check out: