Gardening can teach us so many things. There are many lessons learned through the nurturing of flowers that will grow and flourish year after year. As a grandparent, you have the opportunity to input valuable lessons into the lives of each of your grandchildren. What better way to teach respect than through spending time together in the garden with your perennials?
Respect through Caring
Perennial gardening teaches us respect through many avenues, one of them being caring. Caring for a plant that will bloom year after year requires sensitivity to one’s surroundings. Each and every movement we make can change a plant’s ability to flourish this year and the next. This brings knowledge of how everything we do has an effect on the things and the people around us.
Give and Take
Perennial gardening demonstrates the give and take of every relationship. It can be a symbolic display of how relationships work, and the necessity of respect in all of them. Gardening requires diligence and hard work on our part, but the perennials give back just as much as they have received. The joy we get when flowers have bloomed and are sharing their beauty with us is a lesson. That lesson is that whatever we put into a relationship is often what we will get out of it. Remind your grandchildren of this as you put in your hours of hard work together.
Everything Has a Purpose
The lesson that everything has a purpose is an important one. No matter how big or small, each and every piece of nature we come across is there for a reason. If you remove even a tiny part of the landscape and surroundings, things can go awry. While gardening with your grandchildren, teach them about the job of worms and bees. Instead of these tiny creatures being something to squish and get rid of, they are a valuable part of the earth’s function.
Let your grandchildren know how worms help move soil, and how they have been referred to as “ecosystem engineers” and “nature’s ploughs.” When a honey bee flies by, you have an opportunity to teach your grandchildren about why you leave it alone to do its work, rather than grabbing a fly swatter and killing it. Teach them about the importance of bees in the pollination of flowers and plants, and how dependent we are upon bees and their hard work.
This is a good life lesson for your grandchildren about how we can never judge a book by its cover, whether it is with plants or people. With knowledge comes respect.
Respect Brings Health
While in the garden, emphasize how much effort must be maintained to assist a perennial in its survival. If we wish to enjoy something year after year, we must be responsible with it. The health of perennials is dependent upon us and our consistency. Explain this aspect to your grandchildren for an important life lesson.
Perennial gardening is a very enjoyable activity to many, and what better way to enjoy it than with some of the people you love most? Pass on your passion to a younger generation so they too can enjoy living on the earth for many years to come. Teach your grandchildren respect for all living things through perennial gardening.