How to be a gardener

It requires few lessons to develop an interest in gardening in young children. They usually like playing in dirt, digging and asking about things. If you allow them to pick fruit and vegetables in the garden to taste as they play outside, they usually connect the dots and don't grow up thinking that tomatoes and lettuces just appear on a supermarket shelf. They know because they've experienced gardening first hand or someone took the time to show them how plants grow.










Jamie is developing a real love of gardening. He's three and he's planted capsicum and chilli, he weeds, he scatters seed, digs and waters. When we are in the garden, he's there with us. He doesn't have to be asked. As soon as we head outside, he is with us, unconditionally, until we come back inside. It's the best kind of learning - learning by doing. That stays with you for life.

13 comments

  1. Beautiful photos Rhonda, what a darling Jamie is!

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  2. We have had a vegetable garden since my kids were little. I love that they get to dig in the dirt, help pick veggies and know where food comes from. This year, my oldest son who is 12, heard it was supposed to possible freeze during the night, and before I got home he harvested a bunch of the veggies in the garden. I just love that he thought about it and took it upon himself to help save the veggies from potential frost.

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    1. Dawn, I love hearing things like that. Common sense seems to be less common nowadays but your son has it in spades. Well done!

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  3. Yes our DD has her own little gardening kit and watering can. She just loves following me around the garden mimicking whatever I do. It is a great way to learn and is fun too!

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  4. They are beautiful photos of Jaime in the garden, Rhonda. What valuable lessons he is learning. My daughter and son-in-law bought a house recently which has a beautiful garden but my grandchildren can't touch the soil because of the lead as they live in a mining town. Next time they visit us I think we will have a few gardening sessions :-)

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  5. Beautiful photos Rhonda. I've got photoshop of James when he was about 3 in the veggie garden digging with his Pop in Melbourne years ago and it's so cute. This is life experience and very valuable learning. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  6. Jamie is a lucky little boy to have his Opa to teach and nurture him in the garden. Lifelong skills being learned right there, not to mention sweet memories!

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  7. Hi Rhonda,

    my son (almost 12 years old) has recently become involved in the local community garden and spends hours there, about 3 times a week. I can't tell you how delighted this makes me, and he also willingly does hard garden work in our own garden. I do think those early years we spent together in the garden are now bearing fruit - self-motivation to work with nature. A surprising side-benefit of the community garden is that he loves the 'community' aspect of it. When I'm still teaching in the afternoons my son is being 'raised' by a wonderful 'village' - I feel very fortunate :)

    Madeleine.x

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    1. That's excellent, Madeleine. Gardening teaches so many of life's lessons. It's good that your son can learn some of those lessons surrounded by a warm community.

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  8. We have a small pot garden with herbs and a few vegetables. My son Charlie, 6 yrs, loves to pick a small bite of parsley to munch on as he runs past, and as he picks he always remembers to politely say "Thank you Earth". I have encouraged him to be thankful to the earth for providing for us, which is something most people don't even stop to think about. The garden can teach children many valuable lessons.

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  9. Such a cutie and what great lessons you are teaching him!

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  10. Beautiful! :)

    Gardening is so good for the soul and there are endless lessons to be learnt. Not to mention how good it is for little imaginations! My little ones love helping us too, and at their Pop's house they love getting a ride in the wheelbarrow, or running round watering :) Endless fun and precious memories :)

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  11. Oh Rhonda, such a timely post. Am currently clucking over my first vegetable patch like a mother hen. Have planted quick growers like radishes, peas and beans because I have the attention span of a six year old and keep dragging my babies (now 16 and 19) down to observe progress. Better late than never! Kaz :)

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