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Our Bit of Earth

04 Apr

For the first time in 7 years, Stiggy and I will not be going to America to visit family. So, we have vowed that this is the year we will do our garden. In England, you’re quite lucky if you have any sort of greenery around your house; many houses here are nestled in concrete jungles. We’ve been blessed with quite a large patch of earth in the back, and a little one in the front. Part of our garden is covered in concrete slabs, the green bit is embedded with all sorts of rubbish and is very lumpy, bumpy, and weedy. So it needs quite a bit of work.

Here it is now:

And here’s how it should look by the end of the summer:

Seems doable.

To get started, we went out and bought a wee greenhouse. Wee. Very wee. It’s more like a greenunit. But that’s all we need. Stiggy and I had a lot of fun assembling it.


We also sowed some seeds. Mint, lavender, and Sunflowers.


Sadly, on Saturday the winds picked up, and despite the heavy rock that my husband placed inside the greenhouse, it blew over and my mint was scattered on the ground. I’ve changed the position of it and will resow next week. I’ll also get hubby to add more weight to it, or find a way to secure it to the fence. I’m just thankful I didn’t have several plants in there.

Stiggy and I are going to keep gardening journals. These will be in loose leaf format so that we can insert pages where we want and don’t have to worry if we ‘mess up’ a page. We can have lined paper for the written parts, and blank paper for drawings (me? draw? yikes!), rubbings, pressings, a gardening calendar, and anything else we want to include. I’ve gotten a few printables from here (Thanks, Lynn!). Here’s another nice one. I’m going to have some ‘inspiration’ pages with cut-outs from seed catalogues. I plan to glue some nice envelopes to card and insert them into the notebook so I can store little bits and pieces.

I’d like to plant some fruit and veg: strawberries, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, maybe corn; some herbs: mint, thyme, and lavender; some flowers like Sweetpeas and Sunflowers; and a few flowering trees like Magnolia and Dogwood. I want to attract birds and butterflies. We may put in a little pond.

Stiggy and I visited this gardening site for kids and got a great printable. In his journal, he’ll use the printable page, have drawings, cut outs from catalogues, pressings, and rubbings. Much like mine. Here is a great website for info and printables, including great flora and fauna huntsheets (scroll down a bit).

Here’s Stiggy creating his calendar:

Here’s a photo of Stiggy working on his ‘Garden Wishlist’:


And here he is painting his bird feeder:


Our art curriculum will now be based around gardening and nature study. We also read some nature poems this week and a few nature stories (Beatrix Potter), which I hope to do more of. All of this is incorporating science, art, reading, writing, math, and poetry.

For our nature study and gardening booklist, see my sidebar with our curriculum. I’m also hoping to purchase a few resources and some more nature story books, including Roxaboxen, The Tiny Seed, and The Secret Garden. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment.

We are really loving this project. One of the things that’s been bothering me about our homeschooling (it’s taken me a while to put my finger on it) is that we’re not really getting stuck in to anything. We do a little of this, a little of that, but don’t have any real projects. Now we do, and we are all so excited!

Next week we’re planning to do some sketches of our garden and take a few photos. These will be our ‘before’ pictures. I can’t wait to compare them to the ‘after’ in a few months’ time.

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3 responses to “Our Bit of Earth

  1. Gerky

    April 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I really want to plant some mint this year too. A wonderful tea can be made by steeping the tea leaves in boiling water and adding a ton of sugar. Tastes just like Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum.

    The links for the fundays calendar can be found at http://homeschooling.about.com/od/fundaycalendars/Holiday_Calendar_Celebrate_Special_Days_Every_Month.htm

    Each month has a list of different fundays. I think there are also printable calendars with printable “stickers” so the kids can put a sticker of the “funday” they studied. It is fun to add one of the topics in every once in a while.

     
  2. Michelle

    April 5, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks Gerky!!! I’ve just had a look at this link, it looks great. 🙂

     
  3. Kez

    April 6, 2009 at 11:39 am

    What a coincidence! I have a greenhouse just like that one – they must be sold world-wide 🙂

     

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