Saturday, April 18, 2015

Autumn treasure

 The shadows are lengthening and the days are growing cooler. Salad days have come to an end, and it's time for hot soup and toast.
At Easter I laid a trail for the young one (now 6 1/2 years old).
'To do this treasure hunt, you need to be very observant,' I told her.
'What does observant mean?'
'It means you notice things.'
I knew very well how she notices every detail in nature. And so the clues consisted of plant samples in tiny plastic bags. Hard to photograph these, but you may be able to detect the lobelia flowers, which she found after finding the peace lily, whose leaf I placed into her hand.
 And there she discovered a lemon yellow flower head.
 She knew immediately to go to the snap dragon. It's a flower that has fascinated her since she was very small. But what are these stamens?
She had to think for a while. It's a pohutukawa, but they only flower in summer. Then 'I know!' as she ran up to the gate where a small Tahitian pohutukawa grows. These plants flower through autumn and winter.
 The geranium was easy.
 And then the clivia.
 It took a bit of hunting for this one as it hides in shady places.
 Then to the hibiscus and the jade plant - that's another easy one.
And finally to the treasure. We don't do sugary things, but she loves bliss balls, the little butterfly notebook, and a nice edition of 'The Secret Garden', which we immediately read from cover to cover.
What a delight to have our own 'secret garden' where the plants are alive and well, and fun grows freely.

16 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, how lovely! And what fun for both of you -- and your readers as well!

Juliet Batten said...

Thank you Vicki. I hope you enjoyed the trail.

Ruth P said...

This is so beautiful Juliet, and the not-so-little-one is very blessed me thinks to have a grandmother like you.

Juliet Batten said...

Ruht, thank you for these kind words. I'm lucky too.

Penny O'Neill said...

How delightful this was to read and to follow your trail, Juliet. You have a very observant young girl to remember such flowers from earlier in the season. I loved this and hope to incorporate it into a little treasure of my own sometime when the grandchildren are around.

Now, where is my copy of the Secret Garden? :)

Juliet Batten said...

So glad you enjoyed it Penny. Yes, she is very observant & has a good memory. I look forward to seeing your version of the treasure hunt one day; this one requires no words, so works well for a little one who isn't yet reading.

Hotly Spiced said...

She would have loved that treasure hunt! What fun. And she got some great treasures at the end of it too. I love the blue flowers. Yes, the weather! Not my favourite time of year to be sure. I'm tucked up in bed dreading the thought of getting up as it's raining cats and dogs and we have just 16C. Very different to Saturday's 28! xx

Juliet Batten said...

Charlie, we've been having a cold snap too & it's a bit of a shock. The treasure hunt was great fun for both of us.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - what a delight the littlie is .. and such fun you're creating for her as she spreads her wings .. 6 1/2 - I hardly dare say it the next thing we know is she'll be 26 1/2 ... they grow so quickly and we age so quickly!!

I am enjoying our lengthening days and brighter light ..

Cheers Hilary

Juliet Batten said...

Hilary, it was great fun, and precious time. As you say, the little ones grow so fast. Nice for you to be in spring now.

silkannthreades said...

A very special secret garden indeed, and what a lovely treasure hunt. Soon she will want to lay a treasure hunt for you!

Juliet Batten said...

Gallivanta, she actually did that, the next time I visited, and gave me some special little gifts that had been her treasures. I was really touched.

Marja said...

Your grandchild is very lucky to have you. What a great fun. You would have made a great teacher.

Juliet Batten said...

Marja, we both had fun. Thank you for your kind words.

Friko said...

everything you do is thoughtful and meaningful.
Following your journey is a delight.

Juliet Batten said...

Friko, I'm so glad you enjoy following these posts. Thank you for your kind comment.