This weekend Big Girl and Happy Dreamer are off to their first ever Kids’ Camp. I need to pop to the shops to get them a few essentials that they need to take with them. But the weather was too nice today to pass up getting on with some gardening jobs together. One of the beauties of home edding: we can switch our week’s activities round if we get a lovely day!
So we dug soil, talked about worms, lay in the sunshine, planted seeds, planted out seedlings, sorted the gardening tools in the garage, cleaned out the chickens, brushed the dog and then ate tea at the garden table. My favourite kind of afternoon.
Little Legs hadn’t been walking long when she came home last summer. Her physical delays are less evident now than they were then, but some of the things our birth girls take for granted, she has never done.
Her foster carers had done an amazing job of Little Legs proofing their front garden: picket fencing to make her play area small and manageable, soft tiles all across the paving stones to cushion her falls (many times every hour) and a Wendy house with soft chairs for her to sit down when she needed to.
What she didn’t have access to was dirt and bugs and plants and leaves. She loves to pick up woodlice, worms and ants especially. She doesn’t like spiders (sadly a learned behaviour from Big Girl 🙄) or ladybirds (after finding one on her bed at her foster carers’ house just before she met us).
After our ‘Gardening Club’ this afternoon, Little Legs now has her own large tub of soil complete with some big fat worms, a few woodlice she found scurrying round the garden, a trowel and some Gypsophilia seeds that will never be allowed to grow!
She kept thanking me for her tub of soil this afternoon. Bless her heart! She has dirt under her nails (fingers and toes!) and has had a fab time collecting bugs.
We planted Seedballs (Bee mix, Tea mix and Herb mix) and Little Legs was fascinated by the pre rolled balls of seeds mixed with a little chilli and some clay. The girls are all intrigued by being able to simply scatter the Seedballs across the area we want them to grow, without having to dig holes or cover them in soil.
We have a few seeds planted and a few more to go when we get some more nice weather. We planted chamomile, gypsophila, sunflowers, plus a few mixed packets – a bee mix, a butterfly mix and a wild bird mix that we had picked up at our local RSPB centre.
The girls are all intrigued by what the flowers will look like, what colour they will be, how quickly they will grow, how tall they will be. We have started a little gardening book where they can draw pictures, write notes and keep track of the progress of their little corners of our garden. Home education is working well.
Throughout our adoption journey, we have rightly had to reassure our social workers that we would consider all educational options for Little Legs. Home education is certainly giving her the time and space she needs to fill in the gaps in her development so far. Walking, digging, climbing, planting, drawing, thinking, planning, recording, laughing, photographing. All in a sunny afternoon’s gardening.