On Facebook the other day, Dee posted a link to an article about a play garden. George likes to mess around in our fallow raised bed, though between him and the chickens this has proven a bad pastime for the growing season. Our family plot will be locked down with chicken wire this year, high enough to keep a curious toddler and his three clucking cohorts at bay until their "assistance" is needed, but I wanted George to have a place to grow things of his own, to dig and hunt for worms and shovel away to his heart's content. I also wanted it to have some sensory components aside from the squishy mud, and The Imagination Tree's post about their sweet little garden gave me some inspiration.
Ordinarily, I am not one to recommend shopping at the dollar store, as I usually find thrift shops more fruitful and less, well, crappy, but when you've got about 20 solid, no-cry-guarantee minutes to get supplies for both a garden and dinner, you do whatcha gotta do. At the dollar store, I found:
- a pinwheel
- a muffin tin for mudcake making
- a mat to kneel on
- a bamboo windchime
And at Home Depot, which shares the parking lot with the dollar store -- another place I would not ordinarily discuss patronizing, as there is a lovely local hardware shop and there are myriad pleasant little nurseries around -- I got:
- a mint plant
- a lavender plant
- two colors of posies
- cedar edging
At home, we already had a little trowel, a shovel and some terra cotta pots. I found some rocks and stones in the yard and piled them in one corner of the garden.
I used some of the soil from our raised bed, as it needs to be supplemented anyway, and made a large-ish dirt pile in the hopes that George might not dig up the plants. The rocks and stones, I imagine, will gather some critters underneath (looking for and identifying bugs is currently a hot hobby around here), and a blackberry branch that needs to be pruned back is holding up the wind chime whose cheapness is, honestly, rather obvious. The dull clinking adds something nice to the space, though; I'm glad I thought to buy it. Already, the scents of the lavender and mint waft around when you walk by...especially when a certain hapless gardener is accidentally crushing the plants with his galoshes.
An hour of this morning was spent playing in the new garden, a good portion of which "makin' dinosaur fossils!" with his little raptor. Sometimes I am confounded over the fact that two years ago, my full-sentence-speaking, archaeology-interested child was this small and drooly:
His sister enjoyed the view from her little coccoon, and maybe she'll be big enough to dig around a little, herself, by the time summer's really here. Because summer doesn't really get here until August, anyway.