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The Gift of Gardening
With warmer weather, I have been anxious to spend time in my backyard. It’s that time of year to pull out the shovels, the gardening tools, the dusty bird feeder. Half the battle was getting everything I needed out of the shed. I have done this each Spring for as long as I can remember, and I always find it to be a good way to relax and contemplate the world around me.
Pulling my gardening gloves on, I began to reminisce about gardening with my dad long ago. He was a landscaper, and I was 7 years old. We would work side by side, fixing sprinkler heads, digging out weeds, and mulching the flower beds. I learned how to identify plants and flowers by the shape of their leaves and tried to pronounce the scientific names, which I could never remember. Those were special times with Dad, moments when he was able to share his passion with me. Gardening was a gift he passed on to me.
I found myself gardening in my own backyard with a daughter of my own sitting inside the house with a computer on her lap and the TV on in front of her. I wondered why she wasn’t outside with me learning about plants and flowers the way I did when I was her age. I pulled off my gloves, walked into the house and asked, “Would you like to give me a hand?” My daughter looked up quizzically and asked, “Doing what? I don’t know how to do any of that.” I told her, “It’s ok. Put these gloves on. I will show you.”
We spent the better half of a day gardening in our yard. I found myself sharing little pieces of information about the Monarch Butterfly and host caterpillar plants, the River Birch that shades our backyard, and what types of birds we thought we might attract this year. It was a day that will hopefully become a tradition for us the way it was for Dad and me.
Did you know that May is “Garden for Wildlife Month”? I encourage you to pull off your gloves and get your kids outside with you. Be Out There Gardening!
Join nearly 140,000 Certified Wildlife Habitat® sites across the country when you certify your yard as wildlife-friendly. We’ll plant a tree in your honor! Help reach our goal of 7,500 habitats in honor of NWF’s 75th anniversary.