Magical & Practical Gardening is a new podcast show that guides you to being more intentional in your garden so you can connect with yourself, your family, but also the magic of the world around you.
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Magic means different things to different people. To me, magic is a sense of wonder that leaves us feeling happy or excited. I don’t mean something that’s unexplainable, because often something I find magical has a very clear explanation.
For instance, do you know why you feel so good when you dig in the dirt in your garden? It’s because of a little microbacterium. Mycobacterium vaccae leads to people feeling more cheerful and also helps them learn easier. Science tells us why, but come on! I
It’s magic when you look at your children playing in the dirt, you see their faces light up with pleasure and that night they tell you all the things they learned out in the garden.
If that isn’t magic, then I don’t know what is!
Unfortunately, even M. vaccae can’t help us if we go into the garden and forget to notice what’s going on around us. If we become so focused on a specific result or task, then we fail to notice all our garden has to offer and we miss so many opportunities to connect to ourselves and our family.
What about gardening is important to you?
Understanding why you garden is the most important step in the whole gardening process. Some people garden with the intent to grow their food or have a certain outcome. Others grow a garden as a form of meditation or prayer. If the most important part of gardening for you is the get so many tomatoes and cucumbers, then anything that risks your tomato or cucumber plants will greatly impact how you feel about your garden as well as how successful you feel in your garden.
If your harvest is what’s important to you, then you know you need to find a way to have your children in the garden while protecting your tomatoes from them. Planning ahead based on your goals provides you with the most opportunity for success while also allowing you to create lasting memories and connection with your family.
When we forget, or never connect with, our deeper reasoning for being in the garden, then we make decisions that go against what’s important to us. For me being in the garden is about the process. It’s about the time, the enjoyment, and the connection so much more than the results. Yes, I really want to see my flowers bloom, but that’s not the most important part. Yet, I found myself restricting where my children played in the garden.
Once I reconnected with what was important to me, then I understood how I could share my garden space with my children and still feel like a successful gardener.
Creating Magic For Children
There are many ways to show our children the magic of the garden. Germinating seeds in a clear container lets them see the roots grow and the plant develop. Even though I understand what happens and how it happens, I still find it so magical and wondrous to watch a plant grow from a tiny seed into what ever it becomes.
Grow different plants from seeds that range in size and see how they develop differently.
Or propagate different plants using clear glass propagation stations.
There are so many fun ways to show our children the wonderful ways our gardens grow.
If you’re like me, you also like to bring fairy stories to the garden. We love to swing in our hammock and read books together. A fun one to read if you want to introduce fairies like Brownies to children is “The Wee Free Men” by Terry Pratchett
It’s a great book for older children to read on their own, or to read out loud to younger children.
A really fun way to both connect and decorate your garden is to create fairy homes out of items found in and around the garden. A friend recently introduced me to the book “Forest School Adventure” and I’m absolutely in LOVE with it!
This book beautifully weaves practical skills with magical elements and has so many different activities that can be done at home, or when out camping. The above picture is just one of the activities in the book, but there’s also simple DIY bird feeders, knot tying, lean-to making, and so many more skills and activities to work on.
I’m creating fairy doors and placing them in the garden in secret and waiting for my children to find them. Kind of like an Easter egg hunt that goes on all summer long.
What to Do When Children Ask If It’s Real
Children inevitably ask if fairies really exist or if magic is real. I find answering with a question is the best way to respond. “What do you think?” Then follow that with, “Are you satisfied with hat answer?” if they’re okay with it, then leave it be. If they aren’t then ask more questions.
Eventually there comes a time when they understand how the magic works. But even though they know how magic works, doesn’t mean it’s not real, that it’s not magic.
I know how the presents get under the tree and how the fairy doors get in the garden, but it’s still magical the way my children’s eyes light up when they see them. And it’s still magical when we share stories we make up about those magical beings.
Magic Is Connection
Magic is connection and connection is magic. The two go hand in hand. When we connect with our children and show them how to connect to the world around them in a magical way, we really guide them to be stewards of the Earth.
The way our children show up in the garden and the world all around them may be small at first, but the more opportunity they have to stretch their skills in the garden, the greater their power to be be responsible for the garden. That responsibility grows over time allowing them to take care of their neighbourhood in ever greater ways.
What About You?
- What about gardening is magical to you? What are some of the ways you connect with your family in the garden? In what ways do your children care for their world that’s similar to something they learned in the garden?