Life Begins In A Garden

Spring is almost here and Los Angeles gardens are starting to pop with color. This is my favorite time of year.

I love to think about nature and the beauty of stepping outside on a warm morning. Our simple front yard garden has a calming effect on my whole family and we make good use of it year round. But Spring is the best time, when we are all beginning to appreciate and take in the new life popping out all around us. After all, life really does begin in a garden.

Last year we grew city corn that was taller than I was. What will we plant this year in those same garden boxes?

I’m lucky to have a front yard to grow things in. But even if you don’t have a yard, there’s plenty of window gardening you can still do with your family. It’s amazing what you can grow wherever and whenever you want to, if you have the determination. I think “green thumbs” are really a myth…what you really need are desire and determination.

Over the years I’ve become a huge fan of succulents. Their ability to “self propagate” seems like magic. Propagating succulents is a great way to teach the life cycle.

Every one of these little plants came from one of my friend’s succulent cuttings. What a metaphor for building community. I then get to “pass along” new cuttings to other friends and keep that circle growing. I taught my friend’s daughter how to arrange succulents so they look pretty with all their contrasting colors and shapes. And here I am with my own daughter building a succulent planter out of a wooden pallet I dragged home off the street. That was my mother’s day activity and so perfect for me and us, to make together.

Last year my husband bought a “desiccator” to dry out the limes and lemons we grew last year. If you’ve never heard of that, it’s the round drying rack in the middle picture above. At left, that’s me holding up one of the little dried lemon slices to admire its sparkle and symmetry. It’s a mandala! That desiccator was a fun gardening accessory that added something new for our family to discover and enjoy. It could work well for your outdoor classroom, and I bet you could figure how to fabricate one on your own with a little Google search. After all, drying out foods for later use is an ancient survival routine.

Are you getting ready for gardening this season? Are you adding creativity to your efforts, going from STEM to STEAM?

Whether it’s home or school, gardens are the best way to enjoy working with your hands and truly experiencing the life cycle.
In a garden we see it all.

Have you ordered your seeds yet, or dropped by your local garden shop? Now’s a perfect time to begin.

If you’d like some inspiration on creative approaches to STEM, creativity and the outdoor classroom….let’s schedule a training soon.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and share your experiences. I hope you enjoy connecting with like minded spirits as much as I do.

Anna Reyner,

Consultant & Trainer:
CreativePlayLA, Los Angeles California

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