At Home with The Mountain Gardener

When I think about my home and garden what often comes to mind is sharing. “Wouldn’t so-and-so love this plant or flower or meal, too?” Besides my adult friends I get to borrow some children occasionally to share my little piece of paradise up here in Bonny Doon. This is the story of my day at home and in the garden with 3 1/2 year old Scarlett Biles.

Scarlett Biles, The Mountain Gardener & Sherman

I called our outing “Camp Sherman’ in honor of my springer spaniel who is ever at our side. All of us, including Sherman, donned colored neckerchiefs ‘cause everyone at day camp wears one and you can sit on it in a pinch. First order of the day was to start a little photo album to remember it all so Scarlett helped me print out a picture her mother Kelly had taken of us back at her house. It’s amazing what kids these days can do with very little instruction. She’s a computer whiz.

Scarlett clowning with the hot dogs buns

Although our lunch menu was not exactly a gourmet meal to remember we had a good time making PB&J on hot dog buns to take with us for our hike. After finding a flat spot at the side of a trail that is almost in my backyard, we set up our “camp”. Sherman found a stick to chew while we looked at the butterfly, wildflower, tree and bird guides I had in my day pack. Kids love to identify what they see in nature. Scarlett found the picture of the tan oak leaf right away. We listened quietly to the birds in the forest and found them on an app on my phone. I was busy drawing when I saw that Scarlett had figured out how to play a bird call on my phone after seeing me go through the steps once. It’s so true. If you’re ever stumped on your computer ask a kid to figure it out.

Scarlett at the computer

Back at the homestead, Scarlett helped print out more pictures we took on the hike for her photo album. I added a couple of pics that I already had when the Acorn woodpeckers showed up at the feeder as well as the chipmunks. Naturally, it was time to eat again and watermelon and root beer seemed to go together. We were both sad when it was time to take her home but big sister Adelyn showed me their new tree-fort-in-progress when we got there. Suffice it to say a good time was had by all.

So, the moral of this story is that having a garden is not all about the pruning, planning and transplanting. And a gourmet meal shared with friends can be as simple as a PB&J. It’s the little things in life that count the most. Although I have plans to prune the hydrangeas hard this winter and maybe not let so many of the impatiens balfourii self sow next year it’s all part of enjoying our homes and gardens and not worrying about the little stuff unless the little stuff is 3 1/2 years old.