One lovely spring day, I decided it was time to introduce my preschool daughter to the wonderful world of gardening. Our arms full—shovel, rake, spade, hose, seeds, string, and stakes—we headed to the rototilled area. I carefully roped off a four-foot-square area for her own garden.
“Debbie, rake out the rocks and weeds while I work over here,” I said. I handed her a child’s rake and she started the job.
While she was working in her area, I raked the large garden evenly and laid out straight rows for the seeds. When I finished, I looked behind me—and saw Debbie with her new toy golf club hitting her ball up, down, and through all my work. “I finished, Mommy!” she said with a big smile. “Now I’m golfing!”
I let out a deep sigh. “Honey, let’s get a bucket, and you can put all your rocks in it.” As Debbie started putting rocks in the bucket, I once again painstakingly laid out my straight rows.
“OK, Deb, time to plant our seeds! Let’s—” The seed packets were not where I’d left them. “Debbie, where did our seeds go?”
She pointed to her garden. She’d spread all our seeds over her little plot. “I planted them, Mommy!” she said with a proud smile.
I sighed again, deeply, then gently grabbed her hand. “Come on, Deb. We have to go to the garden shop for more seeds.”
That was almost 40 years ago. But you know what? It worked. Whenever we wanted salad that spring, we went out to Debbie’s garden, reached down, and pulled up a handful of whatever we touched. We had some interesting mixtures!
—By Barbara Vosburgh of Gardner, MA.