I find myself wishing that the next place we live has the space and healthy soil to allow us to garden around our home. I would learn so much more, be able to observe and tend to the plants daily instead of when I can talk the family into walking to our garden plot. However, we all love having our little garden, so we'll take what we can get, right now. This morning the girls and I walked there to water the transplants of peppers, basil, and marigolds that we put in on Saturday...
Along the way, I was struck again by how much Eliza knows about plants. She started sniffing at one point, and exclaimed, "Ooooh, it smells like burnt tortilla chips! There must be some cow parsnip around!" and sure enough, there was a patch. And it did smell just like corn chips, a little over done. She was also quick to point out that what I was looking at was not milkweed, but dogbane; they look similar, but dogbane has red stems, while milkweed has a thicker green stalk.
After watering, we had some snack and spent time drawing in our nature journals. Ani was hot and not interested, so she wandered off to find a tree to sit under, while Eliza and I sat on our bale of straw to draw plants in the garden.
Eliza's drawings are often a mix of observations and fantasy (the marigolds we planted have 5 petals; the fairy next to it is carrying an olive as big as her head. I'll leave it to you to figure out which was real and which was not...).
My drawings are pretty dry by comparison; I am just trying to make myself do this more often, in hopes that I will get better at it!
Ani, in the meantime, had found her tree, which is the home base for a renegade gardener who, legend has it, was here long before the community garden was started, and he operates totally outside the bounds of their jurisdiction, staking out territory in and around the power line bases, and encompassing the mulberry tree. (He is also someone we eagerly greet when we visit the garden; he shares his cherry tomatoes and gives the girls quick golf lessons.)
...and after helping herself to them, they made their way into her nature journal, stains, leaves and all.
(this post is a part of Stephanie's Saturday's Artist link-up; click on the image to have a look!)