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The Garden Fairy Chronicles

May 18, 2010

It’s amazing how excited kids get when you let them do work adults cringe at. Over the weekend, my husband mowed the yard. I use the term ‘yard’ intentionally, as it qualifies as neither lawn nor grass. We have loads of shade and low pH. So, the yard is mostly moss and weeds, with a bit of grass here and there. It drives my husband crazy, but I think it adds charm to my garden.

Anyway, the first mowing of the season is always a challenge. We use a reel mower. Mostly, I use the reel mower. Hubby always has good intentions, but there are so many other things I want him to do on his days off, I usually end up mowing the grass when he’s at work. Since I’m usually the one to mow, I have more votes on what kind of mower we own.

I’d like to say I use a reel mower for lofty environmental reasons. Really, though, I’m cheap and lazy. Gas mowers cost double or more to start with. Add in the gas, the wasted time and energy when you realize you’ve run out of gas right before guests are due to arrive, the maintenance, the oil, the repairs if you forget to drain the sucker before storing it for the winter, and it’s just not worth it. The reel mower maintains the yard wonderfully. It’s just the first mowing of the season that needs something more powerful. The reel mower just doesn’t work on anything stronger than regular grass, like grass that’s gone to seed or weeds. Last year, I got Hubby an electric weed whacker. That worked okay. It was just time consuming using it on the entire yard. This year, I found something much more powerful, garden fairy fun!

garden fairy

She loves using her scissors. She loves helping. It only made sense to give her scissors and set her loose in the yard. I haven’t looked yet, but I heard she may have gotten all the tall pieces left by the reel mower. Child labor concerns don’t apply when the child is playing and having fun, right?  Not to worry, when the yard was done, and it was only the front yard, which is really just small patches between gardens, there was even more fun to be found.


We treated our little lawn care consultant to Chinese take-out. It’s her favorite. On the way, Hubby nearly ran over a turtle in the middle of the road and turned around to rescue it. I jokingly asked if we were taking it home and so we did. We put it in a bucket with some water in one end and plants for it to nibble on. I don’t know if it ate anything, but it did move the plants into a pile in the middle of the bucket and then spent most of its time in the water.


The next day, we went for a walk to take the turtle home. The garden fairy enjoyed checking on him while he was here, but we don’t have any place to keep him longer. At the end of our street, there’s a nice pond that’s pretty close to where we found him. Getting a whiff of it brought our friend out of his shell.


I worried the garden fairy would be unhappy letting him go, but she was very good about it. Her dad moved him closer to the water.


At first, the turtle poked his head out tentatively, but it didn’t take him long to run for the cover of some irises growing at the edge of the pond.


From there, a quick dive into the water took him safely away. We didn’t see any sign of him after that. I wonder if Hubby’s pond will be big enough to keep turtles happy. Maybe the garden fairy and I will read up on turtles while Hubby’s building his pond. That’s the big outdoor project for this year.


The Garden Fairy Chronicles is my contribution to the kinderGARDENS project. The goal is to get more kids out into the garden. This week’s links can be found here, or you can click the button below for all the details.

We put it in a bucket with some water in one end and plants for it to nibble on. I don’t know if it ate anything, but it did move the plants into a pile in the middle of the bucket and then spent most of its time in the water.

Inadvertent Farmer

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2010 11:45 am

    No matter what we do in our gardens nothing will ever compare to what Mother Nature shows us! Love the turtle story…Kim

  2. May 20, 2010 7:59 am

    Love the turtle! What a great lesson for a little one about preserving and helping wildlife. I found your blog from a comment at Joene’s and have been enjoying it. I always like to read about another Connecticut gardener’s experiences. (I could use your helper in my lawn… I’ve been known to go out after mowing and cut the remaining wisps with my scissors….. sigh)

  3. May 20, 2010 8:46 am

    Your story is so sweet! I bet she will be looking out for that turtle daily!

  4. Nita permalink
    May 24, 2010 2:42 am

    If you can find a copy of The Turtle Saver by Laurie Parker, this would be a perfect time to read it. It it a delightful story that all ages enjoy. It is my favorite book, and a favorite of my 5 year old grandson.

    • Kate permalink*
      May 24, 2010 11:18 am

      Thank you. I’ll look for it. My daughter loves books.

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