Perfect Picture Book Friday – Planting The Wild Garden

My friend Nancie has the most beautiful garden!  Nine neat beds constructed of railroad ties, filled with a dark, rich mixture of soil and compost.  Tidy rows of sturdy plants, green and healthy-looking against the dark earth.  Lettuces and beans, peas and tomatoes, squash and eggplant, not a weed in sight.  And the whole kit and kaboodle surrounded by a fence to keep the deer out.  It’s a sight to behold and I totally covet it.  It makes me long for a garden!


As you all know, I am the Black Thumb of Poughquag.  Little plants tremble at my approach, and their lives are at risk whenever I’m in charge!  Not intentionally, of course!  It’s just an inborn curse or something.

My daughter is pretty good with plants, but she no longer lives at home and is thus unable to provide the kind of supervision I need to be allowed around plants (i.e. constant! 🙂 )

So we have come up with a solution.  (Hopefully! 🙂 )

Small scale gardening.

Four tiny planters with one plant each on the back deck where the deer (hopefully) can’t reach them and where (hopefully) they will catch my eye often enough that I’ll remember to water them in between her visits.

Have you noticed how many times the word “hopefully” has appeared already?  I’m afraid this does not bode well for my gardening experiment…!

But for better or worse, I have a tomato plant, green beans, mint, and by this weekend I’ll (hopefully – oops, there I go again) have a pea plant.

Think good thoughts and send positive energy to my tiny garden which will undoubtedly need all the help it can get! 🙂

And for today’s Perfect Picture Book, wild gardening that works in spite of black thumbs!

Wild Garden

Title: Planting The Wild Garden

Written By: Kathryn O. Galbraith

Illustrated By: Wendy Anderson Halperin

PeachtreePublishers, 2011, Nonfiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: nonfiction, nature, seeds, how things grow

Opening: “The farmer and her boy plant their garden.  They drop seeds – tiny, fat, round, and oval – into the earth.  From these seeds, pumpkins and peas, carrots and cabbages will grow.  In the wild meadow garden, many seeds are planted too, but not by farmers’ hands.

Brief Synopsis: From the publisher: “A farmer and her son plant vegetables in their garden, and the wind carries a few seeds away. Birds and animals may carry some along with them on their travels. Sometimes the rain washes them away to a new and unexpected location. And sometimes something more extraordinary occurs, as in when the pods of the Scotch Broom plant open explosively in the summer heat, scattering seed everywhere like popcorn. Year-round, we all play a role in the dispersal of seeds throughout our landscape, planting the wild garden together.”

Links To Resources: the back of the book contains a bibliography of useful resources; make your own garden: plant seeds in a paper cup or a small pot on the windowsill – flowers or herbs grow quickly and well.  If you have space for more, plant some vegetables!  See what you can grow.  Explore outdoors and see what kind of seeds you find.  Dandelions with their delightful cottony fluff that you can make a wish on and blow?  Winged maple seeds that you can peel back and stick on your nose?  Acorns that you can collect in a bucket and build little houses out of?

Why I Like This Book: In simple language with beautiful illustrations, the author and illustrator team up to share verbal and visual information on how seeds in nature are spread about to propagate.  There are plenty of onomatopoetic and action words to make reading the text interesting, lively, and fun.  Detailed illustrations show close-ups of different kinds of seeds, nuts and pods along with many species of birds and animals who help spread them around.  There is something for everyone in this delightful and informative book.  A great choice for the budding gardener in your house or for a classroom or library.


Text Copyright Kathryn Galbraith 2011, Illustration Copyright Wendy Halperin 2011

I hope you like it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what picture book gems you’ve chosen this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

10 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Planting The Wild Garden

  1. Patricia Tilton says:

    A perfect choice for children since so many people are planting gardens. I like the idea of the explaining propagation to children. The text sounds lovely and the photos beautiful!

  2. ptnozell says:

    What a lovely choice, Susanna. I noticed that the farmer and HER son are doing the planting; kudos to Kathryn for championing female farmers.

    And I hope your garden grows!

  3. viviankirkfield says:

    Lovely book, Susanna! My little garden is waiting until Memorial Day…I plan to have herbs…and a couple of tomato, bean, pea, and cucumber plants…we’ll see how it goes. 😉
    I love the illustrations in this book…and my younger son still remembers fondly all the times he helped me. I actually wrote a series of picture books about him…The Tomato Turner…maybe it’s time to revive that story and revise and see if it goes anywhere. 😉

  4. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    Mom should read this book and then read it again and then memorize it. She has the blackest of black thumbs. She takes gorgeous photos of her hanging plants to document their miserable deaths. We watch them die and then buy new ones and watch them die, too. It’s sad….

    Love and licks,

  5. Angela Brown says:

    Yay, the comments are working for me today.

    Gardening is not my cup of tea either. I had a mother-in-law lily that lived for a few years. Not because I was good at taking care of it, but it was just too stubborn to die right away.

    This is a great PPB to choose. Those illustrations look quite beautiful.

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