Family Gardening #7: The Garden Begins to Take Shape!

P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Time to Get Growing!

Here is a portion of my daughter’s latest P.L.A.Y. project: a creatively curvy butterfly garden that spans 30ft x 80ft. While the seedlings are doing their work growing and preparing to be planted she continues her work by using a pick axe daily to carve out this A-mazing creation.


This is all about you and your family.

Time to P.L.A.Y. and dig in the dirt as your garden takes shape!

These are raised beds that have been created and tended to by my husband for 5 years. Typically greens for our green smoothies and tasty cherry tomatoes that you can pop in your mouth right off the vine live in these spaces. Yummalicious!


Whether you use a windowbox or wide rows in your backyard there are plenty of options for getting your garden space carved out and prepared for your seeds, seedlings, or purchased starter plants.

These pots are just waiting for plants outside our daughter’s goat barn. As her second year approaches with these in this location she has decided to swap out morning glories that didn’t grow well and surprise us with new flowering plants this year.


Time to re-emphasize the way to get a family to participate in gardening (or any) project is to focus on each individual’s strengths, interests, and temperament.

Folks temperament for working and in regards to gardening would include: hot vs. cool days, sunshine vs. rain showers, seasonal bugs that are attracted to some humans more than others, etc. We all experience the outdoors in different ways and gravitate to certain conditions.

Lately at our household we seem to cover many of the bases between the four of us in regards to all things garden related and the willingness to participate goes up exponentially when we each step forward with our own strengths.

For me, and my brown thumb, this would be in the form of offering to help my daughter by clearing out a new 20ft x 40ft patch of brush to make way for her expansion of her new butterfly garden. Or hauling bucket after bucket, yard after yard, of free woodchips from a local pile that workers left behind to be used as mulch or on garden pathways.

My son also assists by helping clear spaces, haul logs for hugelkultur, and consistently tending to the compost throughout the year by bringing bucket after bucket from our kitchen to our compost bin. Three out of four of our household members identify as vegan and over 85% of our household meals are plant based so we generate quite a bit of organic veggie scraps to feed the compost that eventually turns into “gold” to spread on our gardens. His attention to tending to the compost, and paying attention to what goes into the compost from our daily meals, matters in the whole cycle of growing.

Both my husband and daughter continue to share their strengths in tending daily to seedlings, carving out the actual gardens, and preparing to plant after the last frost. They seek out information on how best to grow the plants that interest them most whether they are for food (veggie plants) or to attract butterflies (flowering plants).

We all benefit from the contributions of each family members strengths and willingness to step in where they feel they can best be of service.

And yes, there are those times when challenges arise in the gardening department and it feels as if no one in the family wants to tend to the situation at hand. It isn’t always a “bed of roses” to be sure.

However, this provides the opportunity for us humans to grow, make connections, work on our communication, and learn from these experiences together, and then get back to the work at hand which is ultimately to P.L.A.Y. throughout our days.

Linear garden being expanded to include some hugelkultur beds in the backyard with compost bins in the distance for easy access. Truly P.L.A.Y. in action!


Quite simply family gardening is a great P.L.A.Y. in Place Plan at this time AND for all time.

 P.L.A.Y. Connection Opportunity:

Have your family members look into various garden designs or options for DIY garden planters. Have fun with it and know that you can always adjust things next year (and the next year, and next!)

We just recently bumped into a concept we’d heard about a few years back from fellow community members and just hadn’t gotten around to trying: Hugelkultur. We’ve gathered our logs, selected locations in the new linear garden beds, and plan to put this into action in the weeks ahead. Look it up and stay tuned!

Seedlings patiently waiting for their new garden beds to be prepared and for the last frost to pass.


  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE

This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!