Have you ever heard of the tradition of creating an Easter Garden? This has become a well-loved custom in our home, that begins on Palm Sunday, and we observe through the difficult Holy Week, to its climax on Easter.
It is a lovely and symbolic way to mark the events of Holy Week for children, and the adults quite enjoy it too!
Here are some simple steps to create your own Easter Garden:
- Gather your materials:
You will need
- a container to hold your garden; it is helpful if this container can drain so your garden does not get water-logged. And of course, a tray to catch the draining water. Use what you have on hand; ours is a large take-out container with holes poked in the bottom and its plastic lid to catch the drainage.
- a small terra-cotta pot for the tomb. This should be relative in size to your container, ours is the smallest size pot you can buy.
- a large rock to cover your tomb. Send your children outside to find one!
- smaller rocks to create a path to the tomb. See above.
- a cross, or three. These can be made of popsicle sticks, or just regular sticks tied together.
- an angel of some kind. Ours is a felt finger puppet from a set we had floating around the house for a while. Go as simple or as fancy as you want.
- a Jesus figure, and small cloth for His body. Some years I put Jesus on the cross on Good Friday, some years I don’t. The beauty of taking your children to worship is that they can fill in the gaps themselves.
- wheatgrass seeds. I like to buy the larger sized seed packet for a lush garden! Two packets of these would be perfect.
- dirt, from your yard, or elsewhere. Send your most dirt-loving child out with a trowel and your container.
- a spray bottle, to water your garden.
Now, on Palm Sunday, with your dirt-filled container and eager little helpers, place your “tomb” on its side in your container.
Cover the top of the tomb with dirt to blend into the landscape and make a sort of hill. Use your smaller rocks to create a path to the tomb.
Shake your wheatgrass seeds over the dirt; they need not be completely buried to sprout. Simply press them down a bit into the dirt. Water completely and often, and soon your seeds will sprout! Be sure to place your garden in a place that you don’t mind also being “watered,” (ask me how I know), and near a sunny window. Next to the kitchen sink is just fine.
By Good Friday, you will have a nice hill full of grass over your tomb. Continue to water as you play out the events of Holy Week with your remaining materials, and enjoy on Easter Sunday as the tomb is opened, and our Lord resurrected!
I love to use our garden as our Easter table centerpiece. Some years if I’m feeling ambitious, I dress it up with tissue paper and ribbon wrapped around the base. Enjoy!