"She knows how to do it, even better than her mother," Linda says laughingly. "Evelyn told her mom, 'I'll show you how!' She takes the plants out of the pots, loosens the root ball, tamping them down after they are planted. She's a real little gardener."
It doesn't bother Linda if a child steps on a plant, or even picks one. "It will grow back," is her cheerful response.
A play mat of colorful rubber squares lies atop the mulch under the swing set, with toy trucks and a sandbox and a child-size picnic table nearby. All are hidden from the road by large grasses and a beautiful Colorado blue spruce.
Low walls separate the yard from the road, and because they are only a few blocks in height, they are a distinct, yet safe, barrier between safety and danger for the children. Linda has used the walls around garden beds, delineating between flowers and grassy areas, as well.
There's a vegetable garden around the corner. The children are welcome to harvest lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, green and hot peppers and spinach. Evelyn planted the lettuce and spinach, and she enjoys eating what she has planted. Always gardening with the children in mind, grandma decided to skip the cucumbers this year.
"They are such a viney mess, and so prickly. I didn't think that was good for little Ethan to play around," Linda explained.
Like Stevenson's poetry, Linda's gardens flow smoothly. And Linda's gardens, like the poems, are enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Sara Busse of Charleston is a master gardener. Contact her at sjbu...@gmail.com.