During another recent snowstorm here in the Boston area, I escaped into the lovely Perennials by Julie Cantrell (What I’ve Been Reading (Part 2)…). As I was soaking up all of the beautiful flower descriptions, I kept thinking back to the book I pored over last spring: Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest & Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms. This is not your typical gardening book. The photos in here are absolutely stunning and you will you want to start digging up your yard immediately.
Here’s a peek at Floret Farm from when owner and Cut Flower Garden author Erin Benzakein was interviewed after winning Martha Stewart’s “American Made”:
Last year I discovered I don’t exactly have the greenest thumb (I’m really better at the planning and research phase!), but I’m going to try again and this year I want to involve my toddler in the flower garden. She did just receive her own set of gardening tools from a family member, so my little helper will be all set to help water and play in the dirt!
If you have an older child, they could look at Cut Flower Garden or another gardening book with you and help choose what you’re going to plant. Reading a gardening book together would also be a great example for kids of a “How To” book, which I know students at my elementary school practice writing. Check out the gardening section of your local library and bring home a stack!
There are also so many wonderful picture book read alouds with gardening inspiration for this time of year that you can read together:
I adore My Garden by Kevin Henkes and for fans of Perennials, this is the perfect children’s book pairing! A child likes to help her mother in the garden, but also dreams of her own magic garden where things like jelly beans, chocolate, and seashells would grow. When I read this book to my students and ask them what would grow in their own magical garden their imaginations run wild–book trees, candy flowers and more! The illustrations in this book are also so bright and colorful. Highly recommended.
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is a recent favorite that I received from another librarian as a baby shower gift. As a child listening to her grandfather’s stories, Miss Rumphius says, “When I grow up, I too will go to faraway places, and when I grow old, I too will live beside the sea.” And she does–traveling the world and having many adventures before settling in Maine and deciding it’s time to “make the world more beautiful” with the simple act of planting many, many lupines. A lovely, inspiring read.
Set in the 1930s, this historical fiction picture book by Sarah Stewart is told in a series of letters. The Gardener is a Caldecott Honor winner that tells the story of Lydia Grace, who is sent to go live with her uncle in the city after her father loses his job. She uses her gardening skills, a passion of hers, to help brighten the world around her and hopefully cheer up her curmudgeonly uncle.
Do you have a favorite read with “May flowers”? Share it in the comments!