Garden Tour: May 2013

Time to wander around the school garden.  Join me.

Let’s start with the roses.

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When the breeze is blowing, and you get a waft of honeysuckle flowers, it’s a little bit of heaven.

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Another 3×3 square foot gardening model, with the pvc criss-cross hoop.  Planted with kale, swiss chard, peppers and marigolds.

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Gazebo windowboxes planted with flowers purchased at the Warners Springs Mother’s Day plant sale as well as plants I scored for free at the end of Master Gardener Spring Seminar.

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Also new to the gazebo, an inhabited bird nest in the rafters!

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Peas, glorious peas.

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GARDEN FAIL.  We planted this out with three varieties of spinach, which barely sprouted then turned yellow, despite babying.  Keepin’ it humble, in the garden.

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Sidewalk art adjacent to the garden.

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We took our artist-made solar fountain inside for the winter so that it wouldn’t crack in the low temperatures.  It’s now back home, though in a different location—closer to the habitat bed.

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Looks like we may have our first crop of grapes when school resumes.

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Kat Beck introducing the preview films in order to introduce the Wild and Scenic Film Festival at an all-school assembly.  After watching “Watermelon Magic,” we’ve witnessed students standing over plants and whispering, “grow, grow, grow!”

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Lastly, giving Backcountry Collaborative partner awards, I got to gush about my Garden Beneficials and University of Wednesday parent helpers.  I made the point: not only do they do A LOT of work in the garden, but they also love the garden with me.  I am grateful for both.

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Garden Tour, April 2013

Join me as we take our periodic stroll around the garden!

Junior High students often change the message on the blackboard hung in their garden.  Yes, welcome indeed!

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I might have mentioned we are planting a lot of peas to get ready for our first Harvest of the Month program in May.  (Pinecones are to discourage critters from walking in the bed.)

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As we were harvesting the broccoli, one child told me she didn’t know that the part of broccoli we eat is curled up flowers. I told her we’d leave one plant in the ground to flower so she could see for herself.

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Broccoli is also coming up in one of our container gardens.  That’s one of the funny things about school gardens—mystery plants!  (Someone, at some time, had an idea, a vision, a spare plant…who knows?)

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The strawberry plants look luscious.  Keep. meaning. to. enclose. them. in. nets.

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The tulips are finally up in the breast cancer awareness ribbon.  Watching them bloom took on new meaning for me this year as two very brave and beautiful friends of mine have kicked cancer’s butt in the last year.

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New child-created signage on the bulletin board on the CATCH nutrition concept:  go, slow and whoa foods.

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We’ve been moving native strawberries out of this prime veggie growing location to the hillside around the fruit trees, as a move toward a permaculture fruit tree guild.  We hadn’t moved all of them by Science Day though so I split the bed to make some room for pea planting, pinning back the strawberries with some white picket fencing we keep moving around the garden.  Cute!

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Someone donated this flag last year, and we fly it—announcing our allegiance to daffodils!

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Mrs. Shull’s fourth grade class peas.  Each child did a letter on an index card, I laminated them and kids taped them to bamboo skewers.

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We have a gazillion wildflower seeds in the garden, from seed ball making activities, former projects, etc.  Wildflowers have a special immunity in our garden.  Wherever they want to pop up, we gladly let them stay.

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This little donated table broke.  No worrries. With a tree stump standing in, it makes another cozy little spot to hang out in the garden.

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A local grape grower trimmed these for us!  Our first crop this fall?  (Stay tuned.)

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Look who decided to bloom.  (Oh little wisteria, you have no idea how close you were to being uprooted.)

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Our honeysuckle reading teepee.  Last week a child sitting inside yelled, “Mrs. Elisara!  Come here!  There’s a chrysallis at the top of the teepee!”  Sure enough, a butterfly-to-be was dangling from the ceiling.  (The president of the entomology club later ID’ed it.)

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If you’re not familiar with Box Tops, they are the little pink coupons found on hundreds of products.  Schools collect them and mail them in, receiving 10 cents for each one.  It adds up, and at our school, the proceeds have been earmarked for the garden.  Twice a year we receive a check.  Here’s what we bought with our latest earnings: pea trellises, bean towers, seed starting mix, trays, compost, and our 3×3 raised bed frame.

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Finally, it’s always good to step back and get the big picture!

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Honeysuckle teepee

With its little cushion, our honeysuckle teepee beckons children to come and sit.  Many days there is a child inside, absorbed in a book.  I believe childrens’ gardens should have elements of whimsy and beauty that invite little people to crawl in, relax and imagine.

 

Thank you Heather for creating this beloved teepee in the early days of the garden.