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Thursday, April 28, 2011

April: The Month to Plant Seeds

What perfect timing. As we near the end of April, the month we celebrate Landscape Architecture, let’s indulge ourselves in the topic of planting seeds. It won’t be planting seeds in the usual fashion. We’re taking a different spin on the subject by reviewing a fresh off the press children’s book, ‘Planting the Wild Garden.’ And for anyone who thinks that writing for this audience is a cinch, think again! Where does a children’s author start when tackling such a complex and dynamic subject of sowing seeds cultivated by farmer and boy to the role that wildlife and nature play in the environment?  

Kathryn Galbraith embarks on this journey by capturing her young audience with expressive sounds and words that convey this multifaceted subject of nature taking its turn with ‘planting the wild garden.’ “Per-chik-o-ree” and “Out pop their seeds, like popcorn from a pan,” demonstrate Galbraith’s expressive ways to articulate the birds flitting through a meadow or seeds snapping from a pod, leaving behind what becomes the wild garden. Beautifully illustrated with an old-fashioned, ‘Peter Rabbit’ look and feel, the pages immediately catch the curiosity and wonder of any child.

How do I know? I tested it on a big kid! My husband, Greg fell in love with ‘Planting the Wild Garden’ on its first read, with only the words. The second time around he was exposed to the entire story; imagery, sounds, the whole kit and caboodle. This cinched the deal for him. He was sold on this book!

One of the many challenges of this wonderful profession called Landscape Architecture is teaching curiosity and wonder to children about nature and the surroundings. Want a quick tip on the how-to? Start them off young with well-composed books and constantly plant seeds, even if those seeds get stuck in their clothing. (You have to read the book to get it!)

On that note, as this blog always includes a quote, it becomes much easier to understand the words of Albert Einstein. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.” So make time to celebrate April as it nears an end. Start by planting seeds. I’m highly recommending this book, “Planting the Wild Garden.’ It receives the big kid, golden seal of approval!

You can also receive more information about the book by clicking on the above links to find out about the author and illustrator.

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)