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Roots, Shoots, Buckets Boots: Gardening Together with Children

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Plant a pumpkinseed with a child, and cultivate wonder. This simple act of reconnecting with children with nature is Sharon Lovejoy's purpose and joy and gift. Author of Sunflower Houses: Garden Discoveries for Children of All Ages and Hollyhock Days: Garden Adventures for the Young at Heart, Sharon Lovejoy is a nationally known garden writer whose books, television specia Plant a pumpkinseed with a child, and cultivate wonder. This simple act of reconnecting with children with nature is Sharon Lovejoy's purpose and joy and gift. Author of Sunflower Houses: Garden Discoveries for Children of All Ages and Hollyhock Days: Garden Adventures for the Young at Heart, Sharon Lovejoy is a nationally known garden writer whose books, television specials, and projects at her learning landscape in California have introduced thousands of children to the pleasures of gardening. In her newest book, Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots, she presents 12 spirited, easy-to-implement ideas for theme gardens that parents and kids can grow together. Illustrated throughout by the author's own lyrical watercolors, each garden includes a plan, the planting recipe -- seeds, seedlings, and growing instructions spelled out step-by-step -- and activities. There's the Pizza Patch , a giant-size wheel garden planted in "slices" of tomatoes, zucchini, oregano, and basil. A Flowery Maze to get lost in. A Moon Garden of night-blooming flowers, including a moonflower tent. And Mother Nature's Medicine Chest. Discovery Walks teach kids how the gardens work, and a chapter on gardening basics includes a child-friendly 10-Minute Plan for planting and maintenance, plus a list of the top 20 plants guaranteed to make gardeners out of kids.


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Plant a pumpkinseed with a child, and cultivate wonder. This simple act of reconnecting with children with nature is Sharon Lovejoy's purpose and joy and gift. Author of Sunflower Houses: Garden Discoveries for Children of All Ages and Hollyhock Days: Garden Adventures for the Young at Heart, Sharon Lovejoy is a nationally known garden writer whose books, television specia Plant a pumpkinseed with a child, and cultivate wonder. This simple act of reconnecting with children with nature is Sharon Lovejoy's purpose and joy and gift. Author of Sunflower Houses: Garden Discoveries for Children of All Ages and Hollyhock Days: Garden Adventures for the Young at Heart, Sharon Lovejoy is a nationally known garden writer whose books, television specials, and projects at her learning landscape in California have introduced thousands of children to the pleasures of gardening. In her newest book, Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots, she presents 12 spirited, easy-to-implement ideas for theme gardens that parents and kids can grow together. Illustrated throughout by the author's own lyrical watercolors, each garden includes a plan, the planting recipe -- seeds, seedlings, and growing instructions spelled out step-by-step -- and activities. There's the Pizza Patch , a giant-size wheel garden planted in "slices" of tomatoes, zucchini, oregano, and basil. A Flowery Maze to get lost in. A Moon Garden of night-blooming flowers, including a moonflower tent. And Mother Nature's Medicine Chest. Discovery Walks teach kids how the gardens work, and a chapter on gardening basics includes a child-friendly 10-Minute Plan for planting and maintenance, plus a list of the top 20 plants guaranteed to make gardeners out of kids.

30 review for Roots, Shoots, Buckets Boots: Gardening Together with Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    This is a lovely, magical book with delightful illustrations and fantastic ideas. The problem is that most of the plans are large scale (like creating a sunflower house on a 10x10 ft plot). There are a few container garden ideas, but these occupy a fraction of the book. Lovejoy also offers some creative follow-up projects with the harvest, like making sunflower wreaths or birdhouses from dried gourds. A few of these I'll try, the rest of the book was too complicated and unrealistic, unless one h This is a lovely, magical book with delightful illustrations and fantastic ideas. The problem is that most of the plans are large scale (like creating a sunflower house on a 10x10 ft plot). There are a few container garden ideas, but these occupy a fraction of the book. Lovejoy also offers some creative follow-up projects with the harvest, like making sunflower wreaths or birdhouses from dried gourds. A few of these I'll try, the rest of the book was too complicated and unrealistic, unless one has considerable talent and ambition.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Oh, how I love this book! Sweet projects, fun illustrations, sidebars and trivia, tidbits and kid-friendly suggestions. I'm going to plant a sunflower house in the front yard this summer, and expand the edible garden by putting beans in the front yard where we have a chain link fence, just because. Never considered growing gourds before, but just might for crafting. I learned a few herbal recipes that were new to me. I could hug this book. Thanks Sarah! Oh, how I love this book! Sweet projects, fun illustrations, sidebars and trivia, tidbits and kid-friendly suggestions. I'm going to plant a sunflower house in the front yard this summer, and expand the edible garden by putting beans in the front yard where we have a chain link fence, just because. Never considered growing gourds before, but just might for crafting. I learned a few herbal recipes that were new to me. I could hug this book. Thanks Sarah!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ana Lisa

    Now that i have a little guy and the weather is warming, I have really gotten excited about spending time outside and discovering the world with John. I cant wait to watch bugs and play in the garden. This book has a lot of fun ideas of gardening with kids. There are a ton of garden layouts and plants to choose from. I cant wait to plant some bean teepees and see john playing in them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    What a DARLING, DARLING, DARLING book for children about gardening! The pages were split into two columns full of great information, lot's of beautiful illustrations, and fun little facts thrown on each page. If there is any book that is fun for adults, gets children excited to garden this is the book to read, and together. This is a book that I would buy for sure! What a DARLING, DARLING, DARLING book for children about gardening! The pages were split into two columns full of great information, lot's of beautiful illustrations, and fun little facts thrown on each page. If there is any book that is fun for adults, gets children excited to garden this is the book to read, and together. This is a book that I would buy for sure!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    One of the most whimsical and delightful gardening books for children! Lovejoy stimulates the imagination of both the young and old and make all want to dig in! A must read for anyone that wants to spread the love of gardening to children.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Awesome ideas and inspiration

  7. 5 out of 5

    Onceinabluemoon

    So cute, great ideas for young and young at heart! I will be planting my sunflower house soon ūüėČ

  8. 5 out of 5

    Linnae

    A primer on gardening with kids! Nine themed gardens to plant with your children, including a circular pizza garden (sectioned into slices, of course), a "snacking and sipping" garden, a moon garden, a garden of giants, and more! For each garden, she includes specific measurements, plant lists, and even recipes or craft projects to do along with the theme. She also includes a chapter on Top 20 Plants for Kids, a section on gardening basics, and a Resources list for ordering supplies. The themed ga A primer on gardening with kids! Nine themed gardens to plant with your children, including a circular pizza garden (sectioned into slices, of course), a "snacking and sipping" garden, a moon garden, a garden of giants, and more! For each garden, she includes specific measurements, plant lists, and even recipes or craft projects to do along with the theme. She also includes a chapter on Top 20 Plants for Kids, a section on gardening basics, and a Resources list for ordering supplies. The themed gardens all require quite a bit of space, but that's the beauty of the Top 20 Plants list. If you don't have much room, but still want to put in a few things for the kiddos, turn to the list. You will find not only vegetables, but also plants to touch and smell and taste, along with plants that have flowers or seedpods or other features just right for kid craft projects or fairy houses. Come on over to my blog for more gardening and more book reviews! www.ofbooksandblooms.com

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Good and very inspiring. The only two drawbacks for me were that 1) the plants and ideas are better for temperate climates, not hot south Florida, and 2) from experience, I know this would take a lot of dedication or all you end up with is a big mess. I still want to get back to gardening with our children again, but I have to be careful to not do more than we can manage on a regular basis. That said, it is super inspiring for when you have grandchildren... what a peaceful way to connect with th Good and very inspiring. The only two drawbacks for me were that 1) the plants and ideas are better for temperate climates, not hot south Florida, and 2) from experience, I know this would take a lot of dedication or all you end up with is a big mess. I still want to get back to gardening with our children again, but I have to be careful to not do more than we can manage on a regular basis. That said, it is super inspiring for when you have grandchildren... what a peaceful way to connect with them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Adorable illustrated book about gardening with children. The book presents plants that are great for children, as well as themed gardens and gardening activities. My only complaint that some of the gardens require *huge* blocks of land (50-, 100-, 225-square feet); I would love to see more ways to make good use of small spaces.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Diana Toole

    This was really a delightful book. Full of great garden ideas and with cute pictures and poems to go along with them. However, it really lacked in giving advice to people who don't have much sun in their yard. Shade was simply never an option talked about. And our yard is 98% shaded. But we hopefully will be able to use the container ideas that were presented, and there were some good ones! This was really a delightful book. Full of great garden ideas and with cute pictures and poems to go along with them. However, it really lacked in giving advice to people who don't have much sun in their yard. Shade was simply never an option talked about. And our yard is 98% shaded. But we hopefully will be able to use the container ideas that were presented, and there were some good ones!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    Fun read with lots of great ideas!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    great advice for fun ways to dig in the dirt with the family - ideas for year after year!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lora

    This book has so many creative and charming outdoor gardening ideas to share with kids. I can't wait to try some of them! For instance, I really want a moon flower teepee about now. This book has so many creative and charming outdoor gardening ideas to share with kids. I can't wait to try some of them! For instance, I really want a moon flower teepee about now.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Excellent book for anyone who loves gardens and children! So many cute types of gardens to make, with very clear instructions about how to make them. Highly recommend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Patch405 (Shannon Barghols)

    I have owned this book for 15+ years. It is a visual treat. It inspired many of my garden ideas while living in Seattle - when my kids were young. It is a treasured favorite.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Kundel-Gower

    Beautiful, fun, practical.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Summers

    Such lovely ideas but most of the plans are too large scale. It’s a bit unrealistic and complicated. Maybe if we had more land, it would be more achievable.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    This is a cute gardening book for kids.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    some great ideas for kid gardens - very practical and with a wide range of abilities and gardens.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shanna Gonzalez

    Just in case gardening with kids isn't exciting enough all on its own, Sharon Lovejoy takes it to a whole new level. This attractive, well-organized volume opens with a "top twenty" list of easy, fast-growing plants for kids, and quickly moves on to a smorgasbord of gardening inspiration. There are eight full-scale themed gardens, the most ambitious of which are play spaces: a clubhouse made entirely from sunflowers, string, and morning glories; a nighttime teepee sown with flowers that bloom on Just in case gardening with kids isn't exciting enough all on its own, Sharon Lovejoy takes it to a whole new level. This attractive, well-organized volume opens with a "top twenty" list of easy, fast-growing plants for kids, and quickly moves on to a smorgasbord of gardening inspiration. There are eight full-scale themed gardens, the most ambitious of which are play spaces: a clubhouse made entirely from sunflowers, string, and morning glories; a nighttime teepee sown with flowers that bloom only at night; a flower maze; and a "giant's house" made of colossal vegetables. There is also a section on container projects for those with less opportunity and/or confidence -- a pebble-and-soil filled pot for growing "carrot people," a metal tub filled with rainbow potatoes, or even an old glove tacked to the wall and planted with nasturtiums. The book's explicit goal is to help children learn to commune with Mother Nature, and most Christian families won't share the author's views. However, her practical ideas are fantastic, providing the perfect experiential context for discussing what it might have been like for Adam to care for the world's first garden (Genesis 2:15). Lovejoy writes from decades of avid gardening experience with children and seeks to inspire an exploratory wonder in her readers. Projects are described with step-by-step instructions, but she assumes a level of competence that might intimidate the beginning gardener. Her "gardening basics" chapter is almost an afterthought, tacked on at the end of the book, although her resource list is quite helpful. I'd recommend that beginners supplement with a basic gardening guide such as The Vegetable Gardener's Bible: Discover Ed's High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions to deal with unexpected obstacles.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Heise

    While this book is full of interesting ideas for gardening for/with children, they are pretty elaborate. In fact, some of them seem to have suffered by contact with magazine layouts. While I'm pretty sure Lovejoy has gardened with children and made the bean tepees, sunflower houses, etc., there are several ideas that just won't work. You can possibly put one nasturtium in an old boot, or an alyssum in a old gardening glove, but there just isn't enough room for enough soil hold water to keep more While this book is full of interesting ideas for gardening for/with children, they are pretty elaborate. In fact, some of them seem to have suffered by contact with magazine layouts. While I'm pretty sure Lovejoy has gardened with children and made the bean tepees, sunflower houses, etc., there are several ideas that just won't work. You can possibly put one nasturtium in an old boot, or an alyssum in a old gardening glove, but there just isn't enough room for enough soil hold water to keep more plants than that alive, let alone enough space. You can make it work just long enough for the photo shoot, but it can't be sustained in the long run. Two plants AND some carrots and radishes in a pair of old boots? uh-huh. So, other ideas that I might be interested in make me suspicious: such as the potatoes in a half-barrel, which apparently require certain varieties of potato to work at all. The pictures are charming and some of the suggestions for working with children in the garden are good, but I really think something more in the realm of Kids Gardening etc. would be more apropos. I think I'm looking for something more simple, starting small, and this stuff is definitely not starting small.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots is a delightful resource for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers and mentors who wish to instill a love for gardening and nature in children ages 3 and up. In this book you'll discover how to organize and build various types of 'theme' gardens, such as "The Pizza Patch," "Sunflower House," "Moon Garden," and the "Garden of Giants." Each garden section comes with complete instructions, space and soil requirements, seeds/seedlings needed, how to nurture an Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots is a delightful resource for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers and mentors who wish to instill a love for gardening and nature in children ages 3 and up. In this book you'll discover how to organize and build various types of 'theme' gardens, such as "The Pizza Patch," "Sunflower House," "Moon Garden," and the "Garden of Giants." Each garden section comes with complete instructions, space and soil requirements, seeds/seedlings needed, how to nurture and maintain the garden, as well as craft and activity ideas for enjoying the garden with children. I found the sun tea recipe, moth broth, preserving gourds, herbal remedies, making explorer kits, and the homemade pizza dough recipe especially appealing! Even if you don't have children, you'll find interesting garden and seed information, recipes, and fun things to share with guests, young and old.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rowena

    I won this in a competition (which is a first to start with). My Mum got to it before I did, and I had to beg to get it back! It is a very well written, carefully thought-out book, with a huge amount of ideas for any gardener - let alone those of us who have to take our little people outside with us! It's a bit late in the year here for us to start with much, so it's a good start for next year's planning session. Beatifully illustrated too - my only gripe is that the author is based in the US, so I won this in a competition (which is a first to start with). My Mum got to it before I did, and I had to beg to get it back! It is a very well written, carefully thought-out book, with a huge amount of ideas for any gardener - let alone those of us who have to take our little people outside with us! It's a bit late in the year here for us to start with much, so it's a good start for next year's planning session. Beatifully illustrated too - my only gripe is that the author is based in the US, so the plant advice relates to USA conditions, however, if you're brain is working at half speed, you should be able to work out alternatives for things that wouldn't necessarily grow in the UK (or where you are).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marcie

    What a fantastic gardening book for parents to share with their children. Even if you're not a gardener, this book is for you since Lovejoy explains everything you need to introduce your child to their own garden. I met Lovejoy as I was buying this book at the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens shop. She introduced herself and graciously shared some of her favorite projects from the book with my girls. There are simple container gardens on up to the Pizza garden, where you grow your own pizza topping What a fantastic gardening book for parents to share with their children. Even if you're not a gardener, this book is for you since Lovejoy explains everything you need to introduce your child to their own garden. I met Lovejoy as I was buying this book at the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens shop. She introduced herself and graciously shared some of her favorite projects from the book with my girls. There are simple container gardens on up to the Pizza garden, where you grow your own pizza toppings in a garden shaped like pizza slices. And I love her artwork: this is a beautiful book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This is a delightfully whimsical gardening book, with lots of practical advice as well. I especially liked the first chapter which discusses the 20 best plants/flowers to grow with children--such a great list, with some helpful growing hints and fun ideas included. We also enjoyed the chapter on container gardening, since we are limited to smaller spaces in our light-deficient yard. Sadly, there were many chapters that just didn't apply to our current situation, since the outlined gardens requir This is a delightfully whimsical gardening book, with lots of practical advice as well. I especially liked the first chapter which discusses the 20 best plants/flowers to grow with children--such a great list, with some helpful growing hints and fun ideas included. We also enjoyed the chapter on container gardening, since we are limited to smaller spaces in our light-deficient yard. Sadly, there were many chapters that just didn't apply to our current situation, since the outlined gardens require much more space. Still and all, this is a nice resource.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    A prettily illustrated gardening book that focuses on good plants/veggies to plant with your kids. We've tried pumpkins, sunflowers, strawberries, carrots, tomatoes and lavender and had good luck with everything but the pumpkins & tomatoes. I have to admit my kids love gardening a lot more than I did as a kid. Next up we're planting an herb garden with dill, thyme, sweet marjoram and jalapenos! A prettily illustrated gardening book that focuses on good plants/veggies to plant with your kids. We've tried pumpkins, sunflowers, strawberries, carrots, tomatoes and lavender and had good luck with everything but the pumpkins & tomatoes. I have to admit my kids love gardening a lot more than I did as a kid. Next up we're planting an herb garden with dill, thyme, sweet marjoram and jalapenos!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    I checked this out from the library, but will probably need to purchase it in order to do the activities. There are detailed instructions for each of the child-appropriate garden designs. Along with the garden ideas, there are activities to do with plants. She includes ideas for bug watching, recipes, and crafts to make with the garden's yield. This is a beautiful book - it's worth owning just for the illustrations! I checked this out from the library, but will probably need to purchase it in order to do the activities. There are detailed instructions for each of the child-appropriate garden designs. Along with the garden ideas, there are activities to do with plants. She includes ideas for bug watching, recipes, and crafts to make with the garden's yield. This is a beautiful book - it's worth owning just for the illustrations!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Loved this book and have incorporated many of the author's ideas into my vegetable and flower gardens over the years. The garden plans are inspiring and whimsical, and they come with clear directions that make them easy to implement, even for the gardening novice. As a plus, the illustrations are hand-painted by the author herself, and absolutely charming. For me, it's a captivating book -- a definite keepsake that I will always treasure. Loved this book and have incorporated many of the author's ideas into my vegetable and flower gardens over the years. The garden plans are inspiring and whimsical, and they come with clear directions that make them easy to implement, even for the gardening novice. As a plus, the illustrations are hand-painted by the author herself, and absolutely charming. For me, it's a captivating book -- a definite keepsake that I will always treasure.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    Lots of fun ideas for gardening. My daughter and I are going to try the sunflower house. The illustrations are delightful. Each project is quite involved, though, so it's easy to get carried away. You'd need a huge yard to do more than one or two of the gardens. Start on a smaller project and work up to the more complex ones -- that's my advice. Lots of fun ideas for gardening. My daughter and I are going to try the sunflower house. The illustrations are delightful. Each project is quite involved, though, so it's easy to get carried away. You'd need a huge yard to do more than one or two of the gardens. Start on a smaller project and work up to the more complex ones -- that's my advice.

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