Sun Editor’s note: This column is a revision of a post released in 2012.
Each summer season, our grandchildren, Jared and Jade, take pleasure in a one-week vacation from Anthem to our home 5 miles northeast of Flagstaff. Hugh, my other half, takes a few days off work so he can enjoy their check out. Given that I would like my grandchildren’s gardening experiences to offer them with enjoyable memories, I gather some crucial gardening supplies before their arrival.Whether last year
‘s garden gloves are worn out or not, I buy each grandchild a brand-new pair in the brightest neon colors offered. Likewise, considering that they may not be around in a few weeks to delight in the fruits of their labors, I purchase perennials or shrubs currently in flower and ready to plant. Undoubtedly, kids appreciate instant gratification in addition to grownups. Hats, sun block, and gardening tools complete the list of must-haves for the week.
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The early morning after their arrival a year ago Jade, age 6, announced excitedly, “Grandmother, I brought a special shirt to wear simply for gardening!” I replied, “That’s terrific! Now we don’t need to fret about you getting your great clothes dirty or torn. In truth, you can change into it right after breakfast. I have some gardening tasks that all of us can get started on immediately.” Hugh interjected, “Yeah, Jared, are you prepared to put down sandbags once again this year? “What? Nooo!” Jared, age 9, objected. He remembered all too well the sandbagging he and Hugh did the summertime of 2010 in preparation for flooding resulting from the Schultz Fire. Chuckling, Hugh said, “Not to fret. The sandbags are currently in location.”
Later, as Jade emerged from the bedroom after altering out of her pajamas, I saw that the t-shirt she was wearing was neither too small nor worn out, so I queried, “Jade, where’s your gardening shirt?” Somewhat annoyed, she explained, “Grandma, this is my gardening t-shirt. See all the flowers?” She was right. Big tropical hibiscus flowers decorated what was the perfect gardening shirt.By the time Jared and Jade got here summer, our vegetable garden was well established, so I instructed them to take turns watering the squash, green beans, corn, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Jared takes pleasure in gunning through the tomato foliage in search of perfectly mature, warm cherry tomatoes that he can pop into his mouth.Jade, an avowed tomato-hater, looks on in disgust, but Jared nevertheless tries to win her over, “Jade, you’ve got to try one! “His sibling sums it up in one word” Yuck!” Not one to give up easily, Jared continues, “I assure you. You’ll like these. They’re not like store-bought tomatoes.” But Jade stays unmoved.Our grandchildren are now proficient at deadheading. 2 summertimes ago, Jared cut off the completed stalks of about 70 Palmer’s penstemons. Last summer season, I asked Jared to deadhead old, shriveled beebalm blossoms, and he completed the task in quick order.Jade’s project was a bit more involved. The spent blossoms of columbines look like
their buds, so I advised Jade how to separate the 2 and set her to work deadheading. Twenty minutes later she was still tough at work, and I didn’t want her to end up being prevented, so I said,” That looks best! Let’s go consume lunch. “” However I’m not finished, Granny,” she countered. I said, “You have actually done a far better task than I would have had persistence for.” That seemed to encourage her, so we went indoors.The following morning, nevertheless, when I went to tell them to brush their teeth, Jade wasn’t in the visitor room.
I asked Jared, “Where’s your sis?” “Outdoors, “he responded.” Why?” I questioned. “I don’t understand” was his customary reply. I stepped out the front door, and sure enough, there was Jade. She was deadheading the columbines!Six or 86 years old, no matter. Gardening in northern Arizona is
terrific! Cindy Murray is a biologist, co-editor of Gardening Etcetera. and a Coconino Master Gardener with Arizona Cooperative Extension. Note: Wildflower seeds belonging to northern Arizona are now offered, totally free, at the Grow Flagstaff! Seed Library in the Coconino County Extension office at 2304 N. 3rd St. Get regional news provided to your inbox! Register for our Daily Headings newsletter.