Sleepytime Is Songtime

After story time at night my children were still not ready to settle down—always calling for drinks or fussing about something—so I now sit on their beds and we sing songs for five or ten minutes. Besides teaching them Primary songs and settling them down, we have fun. We laugh and love—and it’s a sweet ending to our days.Paula Connell Kvarfordt, Idaho Falls, Idaho

[illustration] Illustrated by Warren Archer

Round and Round They Grow

Our garden-in-the-round developed out of my dream for a garden, our limited water supply, and some creative brainstorming about the inconveniences of our backyard.

My dream had been growing for quite a while, along with the tiny tomato plants that I’d started in January. The water supply problems we faced were the possibility of drought and the limited water pressure from our one hose. The size of the plot also depressed me: how could I keep it weeded and watered?

Grinning, my husband suggested a garden on a merry-go-round; what I needed was to be able to sit in the shade and let the crops come around to me to be watered, weeded, and harvested, he said. But we took that idea one step further: what about terraces that could all be watered by one circulating sprinkler head on a water pipe? I was ecstatic.

My husband Fred developed a “we” attitude about the project as we spaded the ground within a fifty-foot circle and piled in about eighteen wheelbarrow loads of well-fertilized top soil. We kept the soil in place with thirty-two steppingstones, 18 by 12 by 2 inches, set on edge around the circle and reinforced with baling wire. The second tier of our circle garden is rimmed with aluminum edgings ten inches high; the third tier is smaller and higher still. We built the whole circle around a rigid, six-foot-high, plastic water pipe with a sprinkler head on it. Stepping stones in convenient places make moving from tier to tier easy.

In all, we had nearly 150 square feet of planting space, watered with a turn of the tap. Our tomatoes and potatoes, started ahead of time, were only part of the project. We planted some perennials: rhubarb, four kinds of mint, and Swiss perpetual green onions. And our chives, curly parsley, Armenian cucumbers, two gorgeously purple eggplants, green peppers, and zucchini flourished within a colorful border of nasturtiums and marigolds, planted to help control insects.

We’re convinced of our carousel garden’s practicality in growing a small garden with only limited water facilities, but I have to confess that the real delight of this project has been in doing it together.Marie Call Webb, Provo, Utah

[illustration] Illustrated by Scott Greer