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Tell Us Your Favorite Family Films
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Springtime: the skies have cleared, and the world is in bloom. What better time to rediscover our connection to the natural world. We turned to a perennial classic, The Secret Garden, to inspire our kids to see their own backyards with new eyes. In this beautiful adaptation of Francis Hodgson Burnett's classic book, dour Mary is shipped off to a lonely mansion on the English moor to be raised by her uncle. Disliked by her Uncle's strict staff, she is virtually abandoned and forced to raise herself with nary a friend. Even our squirmy boys were captivated when Mary discovers two secrets: a hidden garden, overgrown with weeds and her sickly cousin Colin, locked away in a secret part of the vast estate. Mary instinctively knows that both her cousin and the garden need sunlight and love to return to health; in the timeless twist of the story, Mary thrives on the same prescription.
Like Mary, we recognize the healing powers of nature. Our favorite springtime getaway, a public garden on the grounds of a magestic old estate, entices us every spring with its idyllic grounds. It’s hard to know which part of the gardens has the most appeal. Mom loves the rose gardens and rich forests of camellias, while Dad enjoys the spacious oak grove for an informal tai chi session. Our twelve year old still likes to ride a miniature railroad through the blooms, and we never tire of locating a real Secret Garden, inspired by the beloved novel. Much to our delight, we discovered a nascent Edible Garden that immediately reminded the kids of the White House's new organic kitchen garden. We decided we should plant our own version so stopped by a nursery and chose easy to grow tomato, basil and lettuce plants to grow in backyard containers. Though we yearn for a plot as large as Michelle Obama's, our plants have grown a few inches already and everyone in the family is waiting for that magical moment when we can harvest our own crop for a fresh-off-the-vine tomato salad. Summer is coming!
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Planting an Edible Garden
Time Allotment: All summer
Our Buttery Bits of Wisdom about this Adventure:
Our Tips for Your Edible Garden: