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February thoughts in the garden

To compare gardening with thinking – both need care and nurture!

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To compare gardening with thinking – both need care and nurture!

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a garden seed catalogue.
  • Display this short poem:
    Your mind is a garden
    Your thoughts are the seeds
    The harvest can be either flowers or weeds.
  • Two large drawings, of a flower and a weed.
  • The following ‘flower' or 'weed' statements, cut out, which children can stick around the drawings:
    Mahinda’s story was brilliant.
    She'll never know if I take that biscuit.
    I don't like it when Karen wants to join in.
    Why should I do what teacher says!
    You look lost. Can I help?
    Teacher always picks Wendy first.

    Neil's cartwheel was definitely the best.
    I'll give Mum a hand this morning.
    I don't care if she's upset, it serves her right.
    I am going to try to do good writing today.


  1. Ask some of the children to share their observations of gardens in February. What does the ground look like? What is lying on the ground? What is growing? What animals come to the garden?
  2. Tell the children that keen gardeners have tasks to do in every month of the year. Some months will obviously be busier than others.

    Interviewing a keen gardener in your staff, or the person who looks after the school grounds, would make this more interesting for the children.

    These are common February garden tasks:
    – Pruning leafless trees and shrubs.
    – Weeding and tending the winter vegetable garden.
    – Making sure cuttings don't dry out.
    – Removing dead trees, shrubs, branches and twigs.
    – Repairing and sharpening tools.
    – Keeping cold-sensitive potted plants in protected areas.
    – Repairing fences.

    Explain that the soil is usually too wet and cold for much digging at this time of year.
  3. February is the time therefore when seed catalogues come through letterboxes and when the hard-working gardener can sit down with a cup of coffee and catalogue and plan what seeds to buy for the coming year. Planning a beautiful garden is great fun. Ask a few children what they might choose to be in their garden?

    Then suggest: ‘Maybe I'll need some alyssum for the rockery and I'll need to sow some geraniums for the tubs. There's a space at the back wall between the delphiniums and the daisies for something and I need some more lupin seeds this year. Now, I think I could do with a few packets of weeds!’

    The children will hopefully respond that weeds would spoil the garden.
  4. Show the poem and ask the children to read it together. Ask for any suggestions as to what it might mean.
  5. Ask for volunteers to help you sort out flower thoughts from weed thoughts and stick them on the right picture backdrop.

Time for reflection


As we sit quietly let's listen to how the Bible says this in a slightly different way:
‘Finally, (children), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.’ (Philippians 4.8)



Dear God,
Help us to be careful what we think

because what we think often leads to what we become.



‘Morning has broken’ (Come and Praise, 1)

Publication date: February 2008   (Vol.10 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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