Happy May Day! and welcome to week 7 of my Get in Your Garden! Guest post series. This weeks post is all about how gardens can get people and family together.
Week 7 is bought to you by Pip of Wild Seedlings in Australia so I will hand over to Pip……
Hi, I am a Landscape Architect and Play Consultant with a passion for
permaculture, natural play and saving the planet. I live in Turramurra in Sydney, Australia with my husband and 2 dogs and our own garden is a work in progress that we enjoy daily.
I am starting Wild Seedlings to help kids enjoy the outdoors and develop an empathy for the environment as our future stewards.
How to Make a Day in the Garden Enjoyable for Everyone!
“As I stood on my back verandah and looked out into my garden I saw my mum planting herbs, my sister working hard in the veggie patch, my husband constructing the fence, my dad gently bouncing my nephew on his shoulders, while the dogs were lying in the sun. It then hit me, “I did this, well our garden did this.”
It actually looked like a scene from a hippie commune than something you’d catch a Sydney family doing together on Saturday afternoon, usually we would sitting in a beer garden somewhere. I felt proud, I really felt proud, because our garden had brought us together to complete a common goal and we probably didn’t realise the world of good of it was doing us.
My husband and I moved to our Turramurra cottage, in Sydney’s North, November last year and my first call of action was to get the abandoned veggie garden in order to make the most of the Summer upcoming. The veggie garden was prepped the week before, but I knew that I would need plenty of help with the planting and equally I wanted to share what I regarded to be the best part. So the invitation went out, and my family turned up like the last line of defence to a major battle. The day formed a lasting memory and I would love you to experience what I did, so here’s my advice to making a big day gardening for the entire family a success.
1. Get Organised
There would be nothing worse, than turning up to help someone with their veggie garden and nothing is organised, it would be as bad as turning us to help someone move and they haven’t even packed! Nightmare. Its not what your helpers signed up for and it will definitely get things off to a bad start. Out of respect of their time, I recommend getting as ready as possible, so when people rock up it less “So… what’s the plan?” and more “Great! Where do you want me to start?”
2. Make it Fun!
If people are helping you out of the kindness of the heart, you had better make sure the jobs are fun. I presented all the various tasks that needed to be completed, all fun in my opinion, to let my family decide what they wanted to do.
My Mum choose to plan and plant the herb garden, which is perfect for her as it allowed her to take her time and deliberate at her speed. If your helpers aren’t enjoying themselves, it can be a real mood killer, so be flexible and appreciate the help in whatever form it comes.
3. Keep the refreshments coming
For the day, I had made sure, lots of tasty drinks and snacks were available for the hard workers, knowing it was vital to their enjoyment and therefore the success of the day. It not only to keeps everyone hydrated but a tasty drink from a cool glass of lemonade, or in our case a stubby of cider, constantly rewards you for your hard sweaty effort.
4. Good Tunes is Key
Silence is nice, but for those hard at work, great tunes that allow you to sing along and have cheeky boogie brings more fun to a task that can become mundane and tiring. I recommend organising a playlist with something for everyone as it was nice to see my mum working away while singing along to the Beach Boys. I prepared this playlist which you may enjoy if you like oldies but goodies.
5. Plan a divine dinner to celebrate
I knew the best way to entice my family to help, was to tempt them with good food, and celebrating a hard days work around the dinner table is the icing on the cake of a really a awesome day, though refer to point 1! I recommend having something in the oven, slow cooker or delivered so that minimal effort is required but maximum enjoyment occurs. This was one of my favourite parts of day and really amplified how hard we worked and how it brought us all together.
I hope this provides inspiration for your next big garden job, as I certainly recommend the above for getting the entire family outside to help. I almost forgot! Photos! Take lots of photos, I took hardly enough. Memories last longer than photos anyway!
Thanks Pip, it’s so lovely to hear how gardens can bring the family together, and I love the playlist! Great tips on making the day enjoyable for everyone.
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