One of Levi’s favorite books is Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. In this beautifully-illustrated board book, a mother and daughter plant a rainbow of flowers in their garden. One night after I finished reading the book to him, Levi told me that he wanted to plant a rainbow garden too. That week he’d been learning about the colors of the spectrum in school.
“Alright,” I said. I told him we could start in the front of the yard since we had a nice row of daffodils there. “We already have a lot of yellow,” I told him. That seemed pretty reasonable to him. “But we need to get some flowers that mama likes,” he said. I told him that his mother’s favorite flowers were tulips, so we could start with those.
Later that week we went to the garden store. Levi picked out some nice red tulips for Shawnna. We planted them in a row in front of the daffodils.
The next week we added to the spectrum–orange marigolds and lampara, purple violets, and a beautiful cascading blue ground cover. A kind neighbor gave us some tiger lillies.
I let Levi decide where he wanted to place the plants, and together we dug holes for them. Occasionally we’d dig up a grub worm which we’d leave for the bluebirds next to their house.
After we finished planting, Levi wanted to make sure that the plants got enough water.
He made several trips to the backyard pond, dunking his watering can into the water and then racing back to the front yard to take care of the flowers. It was exhausting to watch.
By the end of the day, we were tired but happy. I am so grateful that this child loves being outside with me.