Friday, July 27, 2012

Sunflowers Are Blooming!

Finally, our sunflowers are blooming!!  Yeah!! 

We started a few seeds indoors months ago.

Lily planted the rest outside in the strawberry bed in April.

They've been growing...

...and growing

...and growing!

I love that something so tiny,

can turn into something like this...

and this...

and this...

Lily and Jasper got home late Sunday night and the first thing she wanted to do on Monday morning was check on her sunflowers and make garden bouquets.  Love my girl!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

We Love Bugs & Creepy Crawlies!

I never thought I’d say this, but I love bugs!  Most of us don’t utter that phrase very often.  But growing into a gardener over the last fifteen years, and gardening with my kids, a love for them has rooted in me.  If you have kids, you know, they can make anything fun, even bugs! Worms, butterflies, ladybugs, black beetles, snails, bees, and dragonflies are a few we see regularly in our garden throughout the spring and summer.

Lily knows that ladybugs are our friends because they “eat those pesky aphids,” and that worms help keep the soil healthy.  She can talk about bumblebees and butterflies as pollinators.  And she shares my disgust of those cute white moths, which lay the green cabbage worms capable of devouring our vegetables before we can.  Anytime we see a white moth in the garden she alerts me.  One of her favorite things to do is feed the bugs; she makes americanos out of dirt for the worms and helps the snails eat our peas.

Jasper just squeals with delight no matter what kind of bug he finds.  It’s become our afternoon routine to dig for worms and search for ladybugs.  He happily picks snails off of the fence to let them crawl on his hands and arms.  I think they like him, until he gets tired of them tickling his arm and squishes them.  Unfortunately for the worms as well, he’s not quite as delicate as Lily is; he gathers them into his hand and holds them tight, way too tight for way too long.  Generally I have to pry a handful of dead worms from his hands when we go back inside.  Sometimes the things I love about gardening with kids are also the things that make me go Eeeew!

Now, Jasper’s absolute favorite thing in the world to do is go out into the garden and tip all of my pots over (especially the ones full of plants) to find bugs.  I’m not sure how the plants feel, but it sure is fun to watch.

Two different friends gave Lily and Jasper  bug viewers this spring and oh my goodness what a blast we are having with them!  So far we’ve seen ladybugs, worms and a dead beetle through the magnifying lenses.  Super cool!  I’m constantly amazed at how much my kids (and I) are learning in the garden just through exposure.

After one sunny Saturday of playing in the garden and viewing bugs in the bug viewer, Lily made up her own bug.  It’s called a Primi bug and this is Lily’s description, “The Primi is the ladybug’s baby.  It has eight red legs, a brown body, blue eyes, black spots and claws, if bugs have claws.  Primis are the ladybug’s cousin (I guess in Lily’s bug world a bug can be both a baby and a cousin!) and they help ladybugs eat pesky aphids, and they eat mosquitos, yup those Primis love them some bad bugs!”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Eating My Way Through the Garden

Well, my kiddos are still on vacation in Michigan with their GramS, and I miss them like crazy, but I am enjoying the lazy pace of these summer days until they return.  Greg and I came home to a garden bursting with growth.

The strawberries are going crazy, the sunflowers are ready to pop open, I have more snap peas than I know what to do with, and the weeds are on steroids!

So what am I doing in the garden while I wait for Jasper and Lily to come home?  Eating!!  I've been picking strawberries every morning, snacking on peas throughout the day, and for dinner, sautéed kale and garlic scapes. YUM!

I find picking and eating the fruits and veggies is the perfect distraction from weeding.

I sure hope some strawberries are left for my two garden monkeys when they get home!