Re: [gardeners] Children, for Billie

George Shirley (
Thu, 11 Oct 2001 12:45:57 -0500

You would like my daughter, the Early Childhood Development teacher. She started a gardening program
at Splendora, TX about 8 years ago with the ECD kids first and then it spread throughout the
district. She's moved to Spring Branch ISD now and is teaching kindergarten but is hoping to get
back into ECD and start another teaching program using gardening. She has told some sad stories
about the little children in her classes and the abuse they were subjected to and the neglect most
of all. Her mother and I like to think that we taught her enough about gardening to ensure she had a
lifelong love for it.


Billie wrote:
> on 10/11/01 12:00 PM, at wrote:
> > Billie, take heart!  You're doing all the right things with your
> > children. There may be a time when they all turn their backs on the
> > soil and what grows in it, but the knowledge will be like dormant
> > seeds underground. One day, one of them will sprout again!  My
> > Grandfather was a keen gardener. Actually, an old frusterated
> > farmer as he had to move his family from the land to the city to
> > earn a living. But he always had massive gardens, lots of grafting
> > experiences, etc. His (many) grandchildren never did seem to take
> > after him, and that must have been hard to take. But I'm back on
> > the land now, wishing I'd absorbed more of what he tried to show
> > me. I have a cousin who runs a garden center in Huntsville, Tx, and
> > got his degree in horticulture and other plant 'themes'. None of our
> > parents (my grandfather's direct children) were especially good at
> > growing things.
> > So, 'what you sow, so shall you reap', especially in the minds of
> > children, or someone will anyhow. martha
> That's what I'm hoping for...:)  I really do feel it's a gift for them that
> they can "discover" in the future.
> I'm not actively seeing child clients any more, but during the 10+ years I
> did, I discovered that engaging them in growing things (from full-blown
> gardens in the residential treatment centers to geraniums in pots in my tiny
> office in the public mental health center) was a powerful step in their
> healing processes. I hope that for some of them that little bit of exposure
> to getting their hands in the earth was something they were able to put to
> use as they got older.
> My kids do love planting things and taking care of them. Last week my 4-year
> old daughter found an acorn (amidst the hundreds that are falling this time
> of year!) and decided we need an oak tree in the middle of the backyard, "so
> we can sit under its shade and have picnics and play." She planted the acorn
> and watered it and my husband marked it so he'll be sure to watch out for it
> when mowing...:)
> This spring we got plant markers and identified everything in our beds, etc.
> The kids have enjoyed learning what everything is and watching how some
> things grow quickly while others take more time. I'm convinced this is
> teaching them something important about life...:)
> Thanks so much for your inspiring words...
> billie