Part of me currently feels like a cruel mother for getting rid of the once beloved sand-pit, in the interests of teaching our children to be more self-sufficient. But a bigger part of me is also thrilled at its departure, worn down by the never-ending trail of sand lying in wait for all and sundry, no matter how hard we endeavoured to prevent it from getting into the house. It used to lie in wait to taunt me I am sure of it, filling the dimples in the sofa (because that was a good idea wasn’t it?), itching for feet to touch the floor first thing in the morning, and shortening the lifespan of every washing machine we have had since its arrival.
And yes, in this instance, (and because there are also sand pits available at school), the prospect of getting The Small People interested in gardening definitely won over the (waning interest in a)
muck sand pit.
So, a few weeks ago, lured with the promise of packets of seeds and some garish windmills, The Small People helped dig out the top layer of scratchy stuff, and took great delight in tipping in bags and bags of soil into the half-rotten timber-framed structure that they once thought was the best thing since sliced bread.
Next up was the most important ingredient of all – Katzen-Shreck – a harmless concentrated garlic powder that absolutely stinks = ultimate vileness to our feline neighbours (quite an important consideration to keep them away when children and vegetables are soon to be added to the mix!)! And then it was time to plant things – seeds, flower-corns (and sometimes the empty paper packets by the looks of things). Still obviously feeling somewhat guilty, and because it’s their new turf so to speak, I let them both have completely free rein in this department…
Which of course means that apart from the distinctive courgette plants (which might in fact be pumpkins), and the strawberries, I have no idea what on earth any of the small green plants are at all. But quite honestly, as long as they grow, I don’t really care. My plan has been successful… and instead of mourning their loss (despite the fact they hadn’t played with “the pit” for ages) a new passion is beginning to sprout(!)! They are both usually out there first thing in the morning checking for produce (although I think we have a bit of a wait yet!), and as soon as they get home from school, to check again – and to tend to slug dispatch, and watering duties.
I will report back on whether we have a successful harvest or not once produce starts to appear properly (or not)… Don’t hold your breath though, just in case!!