This blog was going to be all about the fantastic garden we have at Kid Works. The garden is always in various stages of presentability, never being picture-perfect because the plants are doing their own thing at their own time. Here at the end of August some of it is looking pretty raggedy, while other parts are bursting with flavorful fruit. As I was thinking about the individual plants and the season of life they are in, I realized that the diversity of those seasons within that small area is pretty awesome, and that got me thinking about what the garden teaches about our children through its cycles.
Have you walked through our garden lately? The end of summer is an interesting time to see the garden and it is symbolic of our preschoolers’ life journey. The grapes have ripened and the leaves are beginning to brown, sending all the nutrients back into the vine to nourish it over the winter.
The apples are slowly and steadily working their way to sweetness, the leaves still green and thriving. Will the apples make it to their peak before a curious friend reaches up to pick and find out?
Some fruits are only just now setting out; the little tangelo, hardly noticeable amongst the well established plants, has not borne fruit up to now but finally has a few fruits on it! The huge lime tree in the main yard will be dropping golden limes in about a month without us doing a thing to help it.
“Blueberry Lane”, our mini collection of blueberry plants along the bike trail, has struggled for more than a year to take root. They put out limited amount of fruit, but when they do it’s better than any blueberry you’ve ever tasted. With a little more specialized attention and gentle handling they will strengthen enough to become hardy shrubs that will be resilient to rough treatment from the environment.
The wildflowers built up slowly over winter and spring, ending with a towering growth spurt, pushing out purple and pink cosmos flowers like a burst of fireworks. As fast as the bloom came on, the leaves are now withering as the plants recede and reseed in order to perpetuate more generations of floral joy.
We can make connections between our beloved garden and our growing children. Plants in the garden follow their own internal seasonal clocks. They live together in a community but each adheres to the nature unique to itself. Some plants are ready to be harvested while others are only now developing fruit. Other plants growing for a long time are still struggling along, needing a little extra tending, even though their plant neighbors are doing just fine in the same soil with the same weather conditions.
It’s one garden with many different plants, having different needs, each growing on their own timeline. Each is valued and appreciated for its unique qualities and the happiness it brings to everyone who takes the time to visit the garden.