Kids' eye views of the garden

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Kids answer the questions: What do you see? What do you think of the garden and landscape around you? 

You want to pass on to children your joy in the natural world...
You like company in your garden...
You dream of an apprentice, a helper, one who will carry on...

Then you need to know:

What's outdoors that interests, amuses and helps kids grow?


In this department we hear from young reporters about what they see, do and think about the great outdoors. These perspectives are just plain enjoyable but also useful for anyone hoping to see young relatives and friends take up the hoe.

For instance, we gardeners need to keep in mind that kids are somewhat removed from food production, and have to learn from you the most basic points:

Apples, mmm. I'll have one right now!

One late winter day we were in our front room working with several of our young reporters, when the subject turned to the branch suspended across our ceiling -- our current Holiday Branch.

"Is that a real tree?" Asked one.

"Yes," we explained, "it's a branch from our apple tree."

"You have an apple tree?! Oh, I would like some apples!"

We were at first taken aback by this statement, as it came from a youngster who has run all around in our yard, even swung from that tree's branches. Wasn't it clear that there were no apples to be had, at present?

Then we realized how remiss we've been: We had not introduced the kids to the various trees. They don't know which is an apple tree, which  a beech. We hadn't explained the ways of trees, either, so they don't know that an apple tree doesn't have any fruit on it during winter. Given the year-round availability of apples at the grocery store t's perfectly logical for a child to assume that an apple tree has fruit on it all the time.

All stories welcome!

We've enlisted children we know but all children may submit contributions. Send them by email to

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Deity is in first grade in Waterford, Michigan. She has been visiting our garden for four years. The Kid's Views Department got its start in the note and drawing she left us in May, 2012, and our delight in seeing the cubby she and her dad had created in our garden while we were away that day. What fun to see through their eyes, and to feel through their work the discovery of such things as poke berries for "ink!"

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BulbCody3034cs.jpgCody, 17, appeared in our garden when he was 9 and immediately began contributing insights and a helping hand. We wish we had thought to record more of what he's told us all these years! We still and always look forward to all he has to say.

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Lily has been helping --and we mean helping -- at our Detroit Zoo Adopt-a-Garden for more than half of her 6 years. We have never happened to have a recorder to capture the gems she's shared with us thus far, so we're very happy to have her help to capture them from now on.

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Ellie, 7, takes a notebook and pencil to family parties to record and report event highlights. We were so impressed with her observational skills and insights that we enlisted her to train that bright light on the natural world and share her thoughts.

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