Plant a pumpkinseed with a child, and cultivate wonder. This simple act of reconnecting with children with nature is Sharon Lovejoy's purpose and joy and gift. Author of Sunflower Houses: Garden Discoveries for Children of All Ages and Hollyhock Days: Garden Adventures for the Young at Heart, Sharon Lovejoy is a nationally known garden writer whose books, television specials, and projects at her learning landscape in California have introduced thousands of children to the pleasures of gardening. In her newest book, Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots, she presents 12 spirited, easy-to-implement ideas for theme gardens that parents and kids can grow together. Illustrated throughout by the author's own lyrical watercolors, each garden includes a plan, the planting recipe -- seeds, seedlings, and growing instructions spelled out step-by-step -- and activities. There's the Pizza Patch , a giant-size wheel garden planted in "slices" of tomatoes, zucchini, oregano, and basil. A Flowery Maze to get lost in. A Moon Garden of night-blooming flowers, including a moonflower tent. And Mother Nature's Medicine Chest. Discovery Walks teach kids how the gardens work, and a chapter on gardening basics includes a child-friendly 10-Minute Plan for planting and maintenance, plus a list of the top 20 plants guaranteed to make gardeners out of kids.
Reading this book I often caught myself planning my own garden. I would stop to think, 'that would be perfect on the west half of my garden!' or 'my nieces would love that!'. In particular, the section of the book on sunflowers sparked my interest. I have a small garden (25' x 25') that I dedicate to my nieces and nephews each summer and this book led me to an idea for what to do this year. I am going to plant a few rows of sunflowers around the perimeter of the garden and leave a small opening on one end. As the sunflowers grow, they will encapsulate the garden and the opening can serve as a doorway. The kids can use this area as their hideout and enjoy the sunflowers at the same time! I can't wait to see how it turns out.
Because gardening is a large aspect of my life, I plan on bringing my love for gardening into the classroom. A garden takes a lot of dedication and through a class garden I believe my students will learn the importance of cooperation, maintainence and hard work. This book will be within my gardening text set and I will encourage my students to pull ideas from it for our classroom garden. Collaboratively, the students will make a map of the garden they would like to develop and with permission from my principal my students will be able to put their plan into action.