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Anywhere Gardening
Photo: Studiomill
One of the greatest joys I have is working in my vegetable and flower gardens. My husband and I also grow fruit trees and are working on black raspberries and strawberries. It may seem to some people that the obvious purpose of growing things is to eat the harvest and to enjoy the beauty. That's very true, but there are far more blessings to gardening than just these. It is also a valuable activity for a family to share together.

Gardening is a playground for the senses. The smell of fresh soil is like medicine to the winter-worn soul. The sound of birds outdoors while you're working is a reminder of the companionship of nature that we so often miss when we stay indoors too much. The feel of small plants in your hands as you dig away a hole for planting is invigorating to the touch and sparks a feeling of nurturing.

Growing your own food is a feast for the taste buds, but being able to see it all happen is a feast for the eyes. Looking at a photograph of a flower can never capture the detail of looking into the face of a flower you have grown yourself.

My family lives in the country, which makes finding a garden plot easy. But gardening is still doable in the city, and it is something that city dwelling families should not miss out on. But how?

Here are some ideas:
  • Start some seeds indoors in a seed kit, which you can buy at a gardening center or department store. If you have a small plot of dirt outdoors, you may then transplant the small plants there and watch them grow.

  • If you do not have a plot of ground to plant things outdoors, you can use pots for some plants. Cherry tomatoes grow wonderfully in pots and as long as they get sunlight, they'll do great. You can even grow some small vine crops in pots such as cucumbers. Do a search on the Internet to learn more about container gardening.

  • You can also give away the plants that you started from seed. It's a wonderful gift for your children to give to people. Just transplant the little plants from the trays into styrofoam cups. Then have your children put wrapping paper around them and give them as gifts.

  • Hanging flower baskets are wonderful ways to enjoy the scent and beauty of flowers if you don't have a spot to plant them in the ground. But don't just buy a hanging flower basket. Make it yourself as a family project. Buy an empty basket and some small annual flower plants. Get a bag of potting soil and arrange the plants in the basket. You really can't go wrong because the flowers will fill in the bare spots and be beautiful. This is a great way for your children to be creative and still get their hands dirty!

  • Take photographs of your bounty. It will be fun to look at it come winter!
No matter where you live, there is something that will grow for you. You may have to research your area, but don't be afraid to ask your local garden center for ideas. Family time in the garden is great entertainment and if presented in a positive way, may become a lifelong joy.

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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