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Stephanie Hanna | Essmak

Gardening with Labels

May 2nd 2015 at 1:57 AM

I have always loved growing things, but had not made the time to do much about it after having children. Then I read a very interesting book called ‘Intelligence in Nature’ by Jeremy Narby. The author talks about the intelligence in all living things, including plants.

Reading the Narby’s book gave me such a strong sense of how we are all connected. For instance, there are plants that, when they don’t get the proper nutrients, where they are, will pull up their roots and move to where the good stuff is.

For a long time after reading the Narby’s book I felt like apologizing to the grass each time I walked on it. But it also gave me a sense of how important growing things can be. I remember the satisfaction I used to feel whenever I could keep a houseplant alive and thriving.

Three children later, and no houseplants have survived in my home. Lack of time to pay attention to them caused them all to turn up their roots and die.

But I decided to change all that. And even more important, I vowed to teach my children the importance of living, growing things like plants. I wanted to make it easy and fun for them, so we started out small.

We went to a local plant house and they each picked out a house plant of their very own, and I got one for myself too. We were careful not to get any plants that our pets (who love to chew things) could get sick from chewing on.

When we got home, I had Essmak.com’s chalkboard labels ready and we sat down at the table with them, my computer, and the plants. We got the Rectangle Pack of labels with both the large and small labels. We also got the Liquid Chalk Markers to write on the labels.

Each of us chose a name for our plant, and we wrote the names on the small labels. Billy was sure the cat would chew on his so he called it Barf Bait, as the cat usually throws up whenever she chews on stuff she isn’t supposed to chew on.

Amanda called her Princess Lea, Jason called his Nerd no, and I named mine Josephine after my grandmother, who loved growing things. We attached the labels to the pots.

Then we pulled out the big chalkboard labels. On them we wrote both the common name of each plant as well as the botanical name. The kids all wanted to know why we put that much information about each plant, and I told them it was all part of getting to know their new friends. With a bit of grumbling, they agreed.

Next, each of them got to search the computer for information on the care and feeding of their plants. They wrote the information they found on the big label to help them remember it. I especially wanted them to write down how often to water their plants, as most children’s tendency is to flood a plant with water thinking they are doing something good for it, when they are actually drowning it.

Our last part was to create an incentive to take care of the plants. We talked a while and finally came up with a good plan that works for all of us. If our plants are still alive and healthy in three months, we will go play miniature golf, as we all love doing that. If any one of our plants dies from lack of attention during that time, we don’t get to go.

We’ll see how this turns out. If it goes well, next year we may do a garden together. Can you imagine the names we’ll give the squash and tomato plants!

About The Company:

Essmak.com is a website where you can order stylish & waterproof labels, which help busy families, keep track of kids’ belongings & everyday items.  Their products are a big success in schools & nurseries too, because they help parents & teachers identify what belongs to whom. The great thing about Essmak.com is that you can customize the labels to your taste by choosing text, icons, colors & fonts.

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