It is week 4! Instead of my usual update...which I'll admit would have been soooo boring considering it is still raining here...in fact instead of a maze for the kids I am considering building an ark...seriously!
Where was I?
Oh yeah, instead of my update I am leaving you all in the hands of one much more knowledgeable than I on them matter of garden design.
But don't forget to link up at the end of the post with any garden updates you have throughout the week.
And if you're new to the contest it is not at all too late to join us...click here for details!
I would like to introduce you all to Susan Morrison, she is the design genius behind the Blue Planet Garden Blog, Creative Exteriors Landscape Design, and Blue Planet Gardening. She is based in beautiful sunny California out on our lovely left coast!
The first time I visited Susan's blog I was so impressed by her landscape designs and ideas but frankly it was her down to earth style and wit that kept me going back again and again!
I especially love her dedication to water-wise and native plantings that are beautiful yet environmental friendly.
So you've listened to my prattle long enough, I'm going to turn the mike over to Susan
Where we lead, our children will follow
A few years ago, I designed a garden for a family that included two small girls. On the day the plants arrived, both were in a frenzy of excitement and proclaimed themselves my personal assistants. And they actually did help me carry plants around the garden…at least when they weren’t distracted by examining the flowers and delightedly rubbing their hands along the fragrant leaves of the salvia plants.
On a visit six months later, both girls were again full of excitement – this time because they wanted me to see their gardens. One showed me the little patch of earth where she was nurturing two petunias and a dandelion; the other had planted watermelon seeds and a Shasta daisy. They couldn’t have been prouder to show off their personal plots to me and I, in turn, was thrilled to think I had played a small role in encouraging two fledgling gardeners.
Before committing to a new client, renowned garden designer Topher Delaney has them fill out a questionnaire, part of which asks the client about where they lived when they were a child. Topher feels so strongly that a child’s early exposure to the outdoors influences their beliefs, preferences and values for the rest of their lives that she refuses to work with a client who declines to answer the question.
These stories are anecdotal, but evidence continues to mount that the experiences children have in the earliest years of their lives are the most influential. The time to bring our children out into the garden to dig, play and grow is right now! Whether it’s to plant vegetables, examine bugs or to just dig in the dirt for the sheer joy of it, the sooner kids are exposed to the natural world, the more likely a love of the outdoors will remain a part of their lives forever.
Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening for many families. According to an American Scientific study, we’re spending significantly less time outdoors, and visits to national parks have declined by as much as 25% in the past 20 years. In the accompanying article, author David Bello explains that “conservationists believe that the electronic world has supplanted the natural world as the leading diversion.” Landscape designer and California native plants expert Patricia St. John believes that many parents are actually afraid of the outdoors and wary of bugs and dirt. Not surprisingly, they’re raising kids who feel the same way.
What exactly does this mean for gardeners? I think it means that it’s up to us to spread the word and create as many opportunities for children to get into the garden as we can. Anything we gardeners can do to encourage kids and to “let ‘em get dirty” has an impact not only on today – we are literally shaping the rest of our children’s lives.
So here’s to changing the world, one tiny set of hands at a time.
So here is our link for this week...make sure to visit each other sites to see all the great ideas and cute kiddos!