Gardening Nana – Rainbows and Lady Bugs
Over the winter, I’m reading books to my great nieces and nephews that will help us plan our flower gardens for the year. With my twin nieces, Lindsey and Lauren, who are not quite two years old, we are reading the board book Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. They love the colorful collage pictures of the whole process of planting bulbs, seeds, and plants that will become our flower garden. Lindsey and Lauren already helped me plant the bulbs, so we look forward to spring to plant seeds and pick out annuals that will make our “rainbow” flower garden bloom!
For the boys, Max and Eli, I chose the book Good Bug, Bad Bug: Who’s Who, What They Do, and How to Manage Them Organically (All you need to know about the insects in your garden) by Jessica Walliser. It’s really for adult gardeners, but its format and pictures will be a good reference for the boys. We can look up the bad bugs – or “Pests” – and find out which good bugs – called “Beneficial” – will help us get rid of the pests in our plant containers and flower gardens.
We got the boys butterfly nets and bug cages so we can trap and then identify whether we have good or bad bugs. We’ve already learned about easy ones like ladybugs and praying mantis down on the farm and know that they are good bugs. It’ll be fun to learn about good bugs called assassin bugs and pirate bugs. Watch out grasshoppers, slugs, and stink bugs!!
Games are also a great way to learn about flowers and bugs. My sister told me of a game that her granddaughters like called The Ladybug Game by Zobmondo. This sounds like something both the boys and the twins could play together as we wait for spring planting time.
The Gardening Nana,
Nancy’s love of flower gardening intensified while living in Holland and was perfected with Master Gardener courses.