Finding Joy in the Little Things

A box of children's board books, all carefully cleaned and placed in a pretty box. A set of dumb bells delivered to my porch by the owner of my local gym. An online link to fun activities for toddlers from a friend in Australia. The wave of a stranger as they pass (at a distance) on the trail. These are treasures beyond measure. Yet truthfully, a few weeks ago they may not have held such significance or been received with such gratitude  – because as ashamed as I am to admit it, I took so much for granted. I doubt there is anyone reading this today whose world has been left untouched by the pandemic. It's so easy to spiral into that dark hole of fear and despair and to focus on all that we have lost, including our freedom of movement. To combat that, I continue to choose hope each day, but I'm trying to take that a step further and actively seeking and acknowledging joy in the little things. It's a lesson I have learnt from Anna.

Dressing teddy in clothes made by MY mum many decades ago!

Anna is my three year old granddaughter who would usually go to a wonderful daycare during the week while her parents, both architects work. With the daycare now closed to all but the children of "essential" workers I was happy to offer to help out, admittedly whilst also wondering if my stamina was going to be up to the task! I won't lie – it's exhausting – but it's also the most fun I've had in a long time.   I have a box of craft supplies we call the Rainy Day Box. It has all the basic essentials like chalks, markers, colored paper, glue, and paints inside as well as a large plastic tablecloth and child sized plastic aprons. When I asked Anna if she'd like me to get out the Rainy Day Box her eyes sparkled as she clapped her little hands and exclaimed "Yes please Nana!" So we've been baking, painting, printing, singing, reading, gardening, making pasta necklaces, and more. We've laughed as we've made a mess. We've laughed as we've blown bubbles over one another in the process of cleaning up. We've laughed as we pretended that the cow says "woof" and the pig says "meow". We've laughed as we poked holes into the soil to plant radish seeds, dropping in too many at once by "mistake". Life is simpler and slower today than it was a few weeks ago but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. In slowing down, I now have time to sprout seeds on damp paper towels so that Anna can learn about roots and shoots. We can jump in puddles and hunt for bugs. We can make memories.   As you adapt to the ever-changing situation, may you also find joy in the little things, both received and given. Maybe you can pick a simple bouquet of flowers from your garden and put them on a neighbors doorstep? Or leave a bottle of water out for the mail delivery folks with a note to say thank you? As you plan your vegetable garden, can you plant an extra row so that you have plenty to share later in spring? I'd love to hear your ideas on how YOU can bring joy, and also to hear what small joys you have found.

Gardening (with or without kids) Resources

Wishing you all good health and small kindnesses this week.

A note about these photos: all were taken very quickly (!) with my cell phone so not the usual quality, but fun captures that I hope you enjoy nonetheless.

Disclaimer: this page includes a few affiliate links which will help me buy Anna a few more seeds – thank you!

Subscribe to Receive Blog Posts

Gardening inspiration delivered right to your inbox from Le Jardinet


Choosing Hope

Mar 17 2020

The world seems a different place than it did a week ago doesn't it? My community is like a ghost town as stores, schools, churches, the library, gym, restaurants, and bars have been mandated to close with minor exceptions. I have had multiple speaking events either cancel or reschedule and perhaps most heartbreaking of all…
Read More

Big Ideas for Balcony-Sized Spaces

Mar 3 2020

It's Showtime here in Seattle! The Northwest Flower and Garden Show is always a seasonal highlight for garden lovers and dreamers with so many ideas to help you make the most of your space no matter how large or small. The City Living display features ten patio gardens, each just 6' x 12', typical of…
Read More

Posies of Memories

Feb 18 2020

Endless rain and grey skies had me scurrying outside a few days ago during a rare lull in the storms to see if I even had a garden left or if it had all washed away! As it turned out I discovered far more than just flowers. Not only were the hellebores in full bloom…
Read More

Nature into Art – Book Review & Giveaway!

Feb 4 2020

Inspired by English gardens yet unapologetically re-envisioned to suit the American climate and re-worked to snub conventional garden design "rules", Wave Hill is an extraordinary garden by any standards. Nature into Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill by Thomas Christopher (Timber Press, 2019) not only tells the story, it also inspires gardeners with plant information,…
Read More

Bark, Buds, Berries, & Blooms: Winter Snapshots from Virginia

Jan 21 2020

After a red-eye flight across the country and barely two hours of sleep, what would YOU do to recover? Yup – head out to a garden of course! And that's exactly what I did when I arrived in Norfolk, Virginia Beach last Sunday, albeit via Starbucks (caffeine was a pre-requisite after all). I was in…
Read More

New Year – New Shrubs!

Jan 7 2020

It's cold, wet, and windy here in Seattle today – but that doesn't stop me dreaming about warmer days in the garden and planning the inevitable revisions. Since I suspect you're doing a little armchair gardening too,  here are some new shrubs I've come across that you might like to consider. Shrubs are the mainstay…
Read More

From My Garden to Yours

Dec 24 2019

I know that the Holiday season can be truly challenging for many; a poignant reminder of those we have lost, worries about the future, job uncertainties and more. In such circumstances it can be hard to find joy and celebrate the season. While I don't have all the answers, I can tell you that time…
Read More

The Gift of Memories

Dec 10 2019

  It's so easy to get swept along in the frenzy of shopping malls, tinsel and wrapping paper. Trying to find the perfect gift for each friend and family member can become an exhausting challenge rather than a heartfelt expression. Yet there may be a few people on your list who really don't need another…
Read More

Gifts for Garden Lovers 2019

Nov 25 2019

I'd love to help you select some special gifts this season – gifts to bring smiles and joy, gifts that show your love and appreciation. All these gifts are ones that I can personally recommend. For Young Garden Helpers With a granddaughter who is now a toddler, it's been so much fun to encourage her…
Read More

The Lifelong Gardener: Book Review and Giveaway

Nov 12 2019

When I'm asked to teach about reducing garden maintenance and making things easier to manage,  I begin by asking "What do you love most about gardening? What brings you joy?" I believe that adaptive gardening, whether due to physical challenges or simply getting older shouldn't be about giving things up, but rather about ensuring that…
Read More

Welcome to My Garden Adventures


I'm a serious plant-aholic. In other words I'm usually covered in a layer or two of soil, I drive everywhere with a large tarp for impromptu plant purchases and I'm truly passionate about sharing the joys of gardening.

Buy My Books Here!



Container Gardening Course

Enter KCHAPMAN20 to get 20% off

Architecture, interior design, and more ∨

Use the help of top home decorators to select matching bedside tables and a new lamp shade for your own bedroom design.
Collect and share photos of bathroom tile, bathroom vanities, shower curtains and bathroom mirrors to create your perfect home decorating style.

TV Interview