Planting the Wild Garden


With careful cultivation and a whole lot of love, the experienced farmer produces an outstanding garden that’s a feast to the eyes and a blessing to the growling tummy. But who, pray tell, plants the wild garden? Who spreads the seeds, waters them patiently, then waits for them to grow?

Author Kathryn O. Galbraith answers these questions in her breathtaking new picture book, Planting the Wild Garden. Using artist Wendy Anderson Halperin’s eye-catching illustrations to help tell the story, Galbraith pens a peaceful and lyrical tale of how everyone—humans, animals, and even nature itself—helps to plant the beautiful wild garden of the world.

Oooooo-whishhhh!, writes Galbraith as she describes how the wind scatters seeds across the fields, where beautiful birds swoop down for a seed feast, later distributing the seeds across wide distances in their droppings. Galbraith explains how the hot sun makes some seeds pop like popcorn and spray across the fields, and how the wild rain washes many seeds to their new destinations. She also explains how fish, wildlife, and yes, even humans on a leisurely hike, help spread these hardy seeds over long, long distances.

I love this book for several reasons. First, the text is age-appropriate for the younger reader, yet touches something in older readers to make them celebrate every seed-scattering detail in the book. The plant and landscape illustrations are simply outstanding, and transform even the most sedentary reader into an avid nature-lover. The artist’s rendition of our furry wildlife friends is both funny and fascinating, and her clever use of brown earth tones and soft purple sunsets in each illustration is enough to lull any reader into a long, peaceful sleep. After finishing the book, of course.

For a simple yet exciting lesson in science, horticulture and the peace and serenity of the great outdoors, be sure to add Planting the Wild Garden to your child’s classroom or personal collection.

Best wishes and happy gardening,

Rita Lorraine