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.