Steeples and Stars


Spring has arrived in Vermont.

Iris coming up. You know what pops in my head when I see these new iris? “And these are my steeples” from that kids game where you fold your hands into a church. I like visiting churches… as a tourist. I’ve seen quite a few across the world, but not many inspire the simple awe of spring and sunlight on new green, or the grace of hands on dirt, or the benediction of brushing off damp gritty knees after kneeling to weed. Excuse me while I go look up the word benediction… Not totally sure what it means…

A little boy asked me not long ago what a church was, as we drove by one, and I tried to explain, I said churches were where people went to pray and talk to God. He asked me if churches where were God lived. Well, I said, it’s kind of his house, but he doesn’t live there. He’s everywhere. I thought that was the end of it, but then he asked me, “what are we made of?” What are we made of? What? What should I answer? Skin and bones? I reached way back and remembered a song lyric and something about carbon. We are all made of stars, I said. He was quiet the rest of the way home.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Messy Kid Fun: Plant Amaryllis

Amaryllis  © tuelekza -
Amaryllis © tuelekza –
Amaryllis before planting in its dormant stage
Amaryllis before planting in its dormant stage

Messy kid fun can be had gardening when snow is still on the ground by planting amaryllis bulbs.  Amaryllis bulbs grow fairly quickly and they generally flower less than a month from planting so it’s a great gardening experience for children.

Amaryllis one week after planting
Amaryllis one week after planting


  1. boxed amaryllis bulbs which come complete with plastic pot and compressed planting medium (if you have loose amaryllis bulbs, then you will need potting mix and 4-6″ diameter planting pot and a saucer to catch water).  Amaryllis bulbs are seasonally available in the fall and can be found deeply discounted once Christmas has passed.  I found boxed kits for about $1.00 in the clearance aisle of a local retailer after the holidays.
  2. newspaper to cover table for easy clean up
  3. large kid-friendly spoon or sand tool for moving mix from bowl to pot
  4. water (I use the sink sprayer) to water the planted bulbs right after planting

Continue reading “Messy Kid Fun: Plant Amaryllis”