Celebrations Ahead

Many early spring bulbs are in bloom by Easter, no matter how early the day falls, and a specially planned bulb garden will provide plenty of material. Making a proper cor sage is none too difficult for a nimble-fingered little girl. There are details on this in Chapter 20.

Arbor day has long been observed as a community project, usually with the participation of school children. The date varies in different states, from late April to early May. If your child has taken part in such a tree-planting program he may be interested in the idea of planting a tree of his own, too. If so, why not make it a very special tree?

Trees that might particularly appeal to a child include pink dogwood, golden chain tree, holly, corkscrew willow, Chinese date or jujube tree, or any of the lovely flowering fruit trees. Nut-bearing trees and the "one-tree-orchard" dwarfs also have something special to offer.

A redwood tree would be a particularly interesting ac­quisition for any child who knows about the spectacular old redwoods of California. That potted redwoods can be bought and that they are being grown in many other parts of the United States are possibly not widely known.

Youngsters could also commemorate Arbor day without a bit of expense by hunting for volunteer seedling trees to plant. Many trees either seed themselves freely or are "planted" by squirrels. These may be easily dug up and transferred to a spot where they can be tended. Probably no one who has ever planted a very tiny tree can ever view it in later years without a feeling akin to parental pride. It is a very special pleasure.

Mother's day is another event calling for a corsage. By this date there are plenty of spring flower possibilities. Tulips, iris, primroses, sweet William and many others should be in bloom. If the flowers are to come out of the child's own garden, plans must be made for it the previous season. However, blos­soms from purchased baskets of pansies or English daisies would yield excellent corsage material. The plants themselves can be used to launch a small garden.

May day traditionally meant the hanging of May baskets -a custom that has its ups and downs in popularity, but never fails to delight children who know about it. The May basket, as you may remember, may be anything from a real woven basket to a homemade paper one. It is filled with flowers and bestowed in a surreptitious manner, usually by hanging the basket on a doorknob, ringing the doorbell, and scampering off to hide while awaiting its discovery.

Fourth-of-July, of course, is the signal for a patriotic gar­den. Easiest to prepare would be simply a cutting garden of red, white and blue flowers for making bouquets and corsages.



      (c)2003-2008, gardening-with-kids.com