Outside, the snow is crunching underfoot and the air nips briskly at my nose. Winter is alive and well with activities like skiing, skating, and sledding still very much a part of our days.
But when we retreat back to the warm embrace of Home, it is fairly balmy indoors. Tropical even...you see, we brought our homemade seed start table in from the shed, dusted it off, and rigged the lights back up. With a flick of the switch, any lingering feelings of Old Man Winter vanish, and we look forward to greener days ahead.
It seems that thoughts of my gardens begin to take root around, well...December 26. The seed catalogues arrive, I haul out the rubbermaid of seed packages from gardens past...and the lists and plans and dreams begin to take hold. It is still several weeks before the rigorous sowing of starts begins, but I thought a little tray or two of lettuce might satisfy that green thumb of mine. I can just grow it in my kitchen window and snip from it there.
My children caught my green fever and wanted some, too. So we pulled out some supplies for making terrariums that I had stashed away several weeks ago. They were very easy ~ and fun ~ to create...just remembering to lay some gravel along the bottom for drainage and a layer of activated charcoal to take care of any mold or smells. (Available at pet shops or good whole food markets like the one in our little mountain town). On top of the charcoal, a few inches of potting soil was placed and then the creativity was unleashed.
It is always so rewarding, I find, to step back at moments like these and watch my children immerse themselves wholeheartedly into the simple act of creating. All three of them barely spoke and were so focused on the task at hand. Placing a rock here, re-arranging stones there, and gently nestling a wee little plant in behind...
Huckley's terrarium with the turtle ~ I like how he placed those shells into the soil like mini swords
Forrest's terrarium with one of his very special rocks
The terrariums now sit in each of my children's bedrooms where they continue to nurture their little gardens with gentle waterings and mists. Children indeed have an enormous capacity for nurturing, whether it be animals, gardens, or each other. And with the beginnings of green fever upon us, we will pour our love into our seeds and plants, enjoying watching them grow before our very eyes.