Garden Girls

One of my little parenting strategies is to try to find at least one common interest that I share with each of my children, and most importantly my older children.  It isn’t always easy.  I think it’s important to pay attention though, to find that one thing, and if I’m lucky, maybe there will be more than one.  My thought is that during difficult times we can return to that common ground, and move forward from there.

Over the past year or so I’ve realized that Larkspur shares a serious interest with me in growing things.  We are a dangerous pair at a nursery, or anywhere plants are sold.  A few weeks ago we came across a couple selling lots of great herbs and perennials at a farmer’s market.  Yesterday, I finally got all we bought put in the ground.

Larkspur collects seed packets like other kids collect…I don’t know…baseball cards?  She likes to pull her packets out and arrange them on the table, naming each color of zinnia (she has lots of zinnias because they were giving packets away at the farmer’s market) as she goes.

I’m not sure how it happened, but she has a potted garden on one side of our front porch now.  Mostly zinnias, some marigolds,  sunflowers, and herbs.  I need to clear a bed in the garden so she can transplant some of them there.

I think the most fun that Larkspur has had in a long time was when she recently had a friend over for the day, a friend who shares her love of growing things.  They spent most of their time together filling pots with soil, planting seeds, and labeling the pots.  Little garden girls, those two.

That must be the best part of all, having someone with whom to share the things that you love.


  1. What a great post! I love the idea of finding an interest you can share with each child.
    I hope you both have an abundant gardening success!

  2. This is so adorable and it gave me an idea. My daughter would love to do some planting with me. I have potting soil and a few plants to transfer into decorative urns. I am going to recruit her to help out with them.

  3. This post made my heart sing. I love it that youngsters are still interested in gardening. She will treasure the memories she had of gardening with you. Dad and I had a wonderful garden back in the 1940’s. He planted and I kept the weeds out. I used to take my little red wagon around and sell the tomatoes. Dad and I split the profits. We did this in earnest, when a local grocery bought some of them.

  4. That’s a wonderful idea! I’m going to keep this tucked in the forefront of my mind. I’ve got two girls and although they are small now I know it will really help later!

  5. That is definitely common ground which will yield a hundred fold! 🙂

  6. Sweet and lovely pictures! How fun! And where did Larkspur get those bloomers?! Such wonderful fashion sense, that one. Did you make them? thanks.

  7. Lovely post and I so agree on the importance of sharing interests with your children. I struggled with my youngest son until I realized that I would have to like something he liked as there wasn’t a common interest. In that way we went to football matches together across the North of England. Before I knew where I was I was loving football and we so enjoyed exploring new towns, with history and geography conversations thrown in.

  8. One of my son also shares this passion with me. As he grew up, he rapidly became “better” than i was…He is now a botanist…Kisses from France !

  9. Wonderful! I found out that I loved gardening a little too late… if that is possible. I would have loved to make it a career but I didn’t realize it was possible until I’d already gone down another path! May Larkspur have many a happy day in her gardens of the present and future! (And I’m so glad that was a friend because I did a double take when I thought Bea had gotten that tall!)

  10. I love this. My oldest also loves plants and gardening. I love your thoughts on finding common interests with your children! It is so important to connect. I struggle with this with my oldest son and this was a great reminder for me. Thank you. Also, have been meaning to reply to your post about the homeschool conference. Thank you so much for posting that!! My family is new to Northern Virginia (and new to homeschooling as well!) and I am hoping to go to this next year. The day the conference started we were closing on our house and moving in! I was disappointed to miss it but look forward to next year. Hope it was wonderful! Wondering if you would recommend buying the cd of the talks…considering doing that. Thanks!

  11. Frances says:

    I so love this.

    I started poring over flower seed catalogs as a middle schooler/teen not even realizing how many of the names – scientific and common – I was absorbing. (I had a bit of a garden too)

    Now, 15+ yrs later I’ve moved to a city with real seasons where most of the neighborhoods are filled with flowerbeds and roses grow like weeds. It feels magical. As I take evening walks, all of the flower names come rushing up from deep places in my soul and I find myself exclaiming with excitement at meeting the flowers “in real life” for the first time.

    Wishing Larkspur many happy years collecting her seed packets.

    She might find something like this interesting:

    (I imagine it would be easy to make a kit like this using IKEA spice jars) – as I recall Zinnias, Marigolds, and Sunflowers are easy to collect seeds from. Oh and Hollyhocks are really cool too.


  12. What a great way to consciously connect with your children!
    I love to grow things too, but I’m not so good at it.

  13. I love your idea so much and think that’s such an awesome way to connect with your kids. Such a good idea.

    I just finished reading The Language of Flowers and have become obsessed with the book and flowers’ meanings (i.e. red roses mean love). I think you would like the book, but the story itself would be over Larkspur’s head. However, in the back of the book, there’s a flower dictionary that says what a bunch of flowers mean — maybe Larkspur would be interested? I think it’s so fascinating! Anyway, sorry for the long comment, as I said… obsessed!

  14. Dear dear post! Thanks for inspiration!
    Sitting at the table with my oldest daughter journaling our gifts together! Must expand though to other children and be more intentional. 🙂

  15. That is so wonderful. You are the best mom. So many moms need to slow down and pay attention to their kids “real” interests.

  16. What a productive interest! That is so sweet!

  17. SMile oh yes finding something you both connect with really helps when they are teenagers. My son and I it is gardening and my daughter & I was crafts.

    We gave our son his very own garden and he planted what ever he wanted in it (I tended to weed it for him) but I don’t mind weeding.
    Love Leanne

  18. Wow, wonderful gardening pictures! They look great! 🙂

  19. Wonderful words, Ginny, I have to think about it with my three boys.K

  20. Carol in PA says:

    “That must be the best part of all, having someone with whom to share the things that you love.”

    Beautiful words…brought tears to my eyes. Larkspur is my kindred spirit!

  21. This is a lovely thing, mom and daughter, daughter and friend.
    I’ll remember that strategy, thank you!

  22. That’s a great strategy, I’ll try to remember it with my two boys!

  23. Oh, how wonderful. My daughter and I can also be quite a pair at the nursery as well!

  24. I love this Ginny be cause I also share this love with my oldest daughter, but also because you have extended this same love to all of us on Wednesdays, Yarn Along! A chance to come together with all those you know and may not know to share something you love.
    You are a great mother and a wonderful friend!


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