Submitted By Andrea Austin
Do you have a green thumb or a black thumb? If you’re like me, you can take one look at a plant and next thing you know the poor plant is sucking in the last breath of carbon monoxide just to live another day. I know plenty of gardeners that are leaders in their talent. I’ve often been envious of the beautiful gardens that grace the property of many of my friends. Oh, how I’ve longed for the ability to envision and bring such beauty to life.
One summer day, my daughter and I were riding along in the car and she looked out the window and gasped. There was a beautiful garden that was so vibrant in its colors that it was honestly breathtaking. I could see the amazement on her face. Knowing that she wasn’t accustomed to such a color palette in our own yard, I could see inspiration strike her immediately.
“Mom, did you see that pretty yard?” was the next thing out of her. “Yes, I sure did. It was so pretty,” I replied. “Mom, why can’t our yard look like that?” she asked.
Now, the maternal side of my body halted and took a huge gulp as I knew this was something I wouldn’t be able to do for my daughter without paying someone to make our yard a masterpiece. “Well, honey how about we get some seeds and try and plant some flowers of our own?” I asked, knowing deep down inside I had zero ability to make that happen and even if I knew what I was talking about, surely I would kill whatever I touched.
I rushed home and started thinking of ideas on how I could give my daughter the most beautiful yard with vibrant and pastel colors. Soon I realized that it just wasn’t in me until I came across an article online about local elementary students who were giving back to the earth by making a bed of flowers that would attract beautiful butterflies.
That was it! I could help my daughter plant her own little garden, a garden that she could be proud of because she was the one who put in the hard work. But somehow I wanted to make it more special than just tossing some seeds into some dirt. After doing a little more research about plants that are butterfly friendly, I was prepared with a new idea. The following weekend we hopped in the car and headed out to buy seed packets of the plants necessary to attract butterflies.
Then we bought some air dry clay and potting soil. We headed back home with a unique idea that wouldn’t require dredging an entire garden, but would still give her the pretty plants she so wanted. With all the supplies ready to go, we started making seed bombs.
We took the clay and pounded it out just like play dough, making a ball and then flattening it like a pancake. We put in a little bit of moisture-rich potting soil and a pinch of the special seeds. We wrapped the pancake of clay around the soil and seeds and then gently pressed it flat until it looked like a smushed ball. Then we used a rubber stamp that we had around the house and stamped the clay.
The clay took a few days to cure, but when it was hard and all the moisture was gone, we took several of the seed bombs outside. With a small shovel and potting soil in hand I let her pick the perfect place she wanted to put her garden in the yard and we started digging small holes. My daughter was only 4 or 5 at the time so a small hole worked just fine. We dropped the seed bombs into the ground, covered them with soil and added a little water.
Each day we would visit the garden and add “liquid grow” — water as the rest of us call it — to the seed bombs. She would pick weeds that would start growing around the small freshly covered holes. She tended the garden with the same care someone would tend a community size vegetable garden. After about a week or two the small covered holes started to sprout. You have never seen a little girl so excited. We continued to water the baby sprouts each day until they developed into newly budding flowers. The young flowers were starting to mature and they would soon show us their gorgeous faces.
Soon they opened, and lo and behold it surprised even me. In our big yard we had made our own little piece of heaven. It wasn’t much larger than a 3-foot by 3-foot area, but to the two of us it was a 100 acre field. As the flowers started to bloom, the butterflies started visiting and my daughter would go and visit the garden on her own every evening.
I always heard that famers talk to their crops. As the summer went on and more of the seed bombs grew I would have told you she was a flower whisperer. The flowers were so beautiful, and the winged friends that would come and sip the sweet nectar were vibrant as well.
Who would have thought an afternoon drive would have turned into such a remarkable memory for both me and my daughter? Seeds bombs showed me that regardless of the color of my thumb, it is possible to grow your own piece of heaven in your own backyard.
To make your own seed bombs you’ll need:
4oz Air Dry Clay
1oz Potting Soil
1oz Flower Seeds
Spread out the clay to be large enough to pour the dirt on it.
Pour the dirt on the clay and then pour the seeds on top of it.
Fold together and then knead until the mixture is thoroughly mixed together.
Roll out into a 3/4 inch log and make a cut every 1/2 inch. Roll each section into a ball.
Let sit in the sun to dry out if necessary and then toss where you’d like the flowers to bloom. You don’t have to bury
in the ground like we did. You can simply toss and go with this recipe.