If you have a garden and a library,
you have everything you need.
Herein lies the theme and title of my website. It is no secret I love books or that I use books for the majority of our home-based life of learning. I also love gardens. I think a love of gardens has been handed down to me by my grandparents and the happy memories I hold of pottering about with them in their garden. These happy memories have yet to reveal themselves in any real skill at gardening - but you're never too old to learn. Right?
This quote, attributed to Cicero, reflects more than my love for books and gardens however. It reflects what I believe to be the two non-negotiable elements for a good quality life of learning. I believe that if all you are able to provide in the realm of learning resources and activities are books and time out-of-doors in the garden you have gifted your children with a hundred rooms to explore, learn, and create with. It is a good thing. And sometimes it can be all you need.
It has been observed that mathematics is the language of the natural world. The language of God and His creation. When you spend time working in the garden, observing landscape changes, seasonal cycles, and wildlife habits, taking walks and meals out-of-doors you begin to see, and understand, the symmetry, shape, harmony, rhythm, time, form, structure, and order of our world. All of these are mathematical concepts. When you dig deeper you also begin to see principles of biology, chemistry, and physics working together unseen in our world. When you take a panoramic view you see these mathematical concepts of nature can also be expressed in a variety of art forms, including music.
As our world becomes seemingly more complicated our hearts long for simplicity. As our world becomes more technological and disconnected our hearts long for relationship. A library and a garden are two simple yet timeless ways of re-educating ourselves with simplicity and relationship. All other knowledge and understanding can grow from these.
In Our Garden
Above is a photo of our backyard in 2011 when we first moved in. Delightfully overgrown it invited adventure. This is the setting for our Jungle Books read aloud, our first read aloud in this home.
We worked really hard those first twelve months. Pruning, clearing, renovating. We all slept and lived in a converted double garage and created an outdoor kitchen and living area under the carport. And that year our learning revolved largely around our books and our garden. I admit to feeling a little nostalgic on looking through these memories.
Our home looks very different in 2017, to that first glimpse in 2011. We have had to cut down around 15 trees for starters. Now we are finally ready to begin planting more, so we are very happy to be back in the garden. Planting trees and shrubs that will be friendly to houses, roofing, foundations, neighbours, birdlife, local wildlife and our view. And we may continue learning a thing, or two, from our garden.
Don't forget .......
....... if you have a garden and a library ..........