Tuesday, May 6, 2014

teaching tending

Putting together a garden is a fun and rewarding job, but sometimes it's a big and overwhelming proposition, especially for a kid.  My son, now 10, has enjoyed helping me fill planters with dirt, picking the fruits of our garden, and planting the occasional sunflower seed, but the idea of "gardening" doesn't really turn his crank.  Over the last year, however, I've discovered little green army men in some of my houseplants, particularly in the succulents I brought inside to overwinter. 

When he asked for a succulent to keep in his room, we gave him one, which seemed to scratch his garden itch for a while.  A few weeks ago, at our dentist's office, he spied a terrarium and was entranced.  I told him that it was made by one of our neighbors and he begged me for one.  We saw her at a neighborhood art festival and told her what we were looking for, and she suggested that we come to her studio to build a custom terrarium.  This past Sunday, we did!

First, he picked out one of three started terrariums she offered.  She'd suggested he bring interesting pebbles, larger stones, soldiers, and bits of wood. 

 He had several ideas about what he wanted- a jungle military scene (what is a peacenik mama to do besides hope he outgrows this impulse?) with a pool of water, a fire, and soldiers.  He brought his pebbles and soldiers, and Nancy helped him figure out where and how to place his accessories.  Here, he's tucking his pool into place (they used a small plastic blister pak covering she had on hand), and covered the edges with pebbles before they laid in the sand. 

Nancy gave us lots of good advice on how to keep the terrarium watered but not soaked- it is a delicate balance between too wet and too dry, to give it filtered light, and when to keep the covering on and when to remove it.

He was so excited to bring his terrarium home.  Right now it lives in the east-facing living room, where it gets the best indirect light.  I'm excited about this entry into gardening, something that he put together and he's in charge of- and something that is absolutely masculine!

Here is the final piece:

Can you see his soldiers?  I'm excited to see where this takes us.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great post, Melissa. I sure enjoyed working with Nash, he had a clear vision and made many interesting suggestions that helped me think of new things to do with terries. Look forward to seeing its progress. Nancy