Ground Breaking!

No ceremony here, just hard work. My son John and I cranked up the rototiller and prepared the garden area at San Carlos Park Elementary.  We agreed to work until it ran out of gas or the temperature exceeded 90. But within two hours we had tilled the 14×50 area four times and we ran out of Gatorade. Mission accomplished.

Now to mark off the bed areas and start building raised beds.

The oil brought out grain and color differences.

Bird Feeder

This bird feeder will go to San Carlos Park Elementary in the new garden. I tried to lean on the arts theme and included a little whimsical element with the colored pencils. It’s made from Florida cypress, both solid and pecky for textural interest. It is four feet tall but I will mount it on a short post to make the filling still accessable.

Thanks for the kind words, all over my new shirt.

bob_tshirtThank you Spring 2015 FCHP class for the memorable gift. Horticulturist Bob Anderson was kind enough to arrange for fellow students to sign this t-shirt to conclude our 14 weeks together.

Comments include “I dug your class. I learned so much from your goofy memory tricks!” and more. It’s my pleasure to spend time with people eager to learn more about the craft and business of plants. Thank you for listening and learning.

Before: San Carlos Park Elementary garden area

This is where we will be building a vegetable garden, in the courtyard.

The first idea was to have one raised bed made of concrete blocks that the students will paint. But then I got creative: let’s make eight smaller gardens in different shapes, made of different materials. I can imagine every classroom coming out to visit this area to see and learn about shapes (math), cells, insects, climate (biology). Other dirt-under-the-fingernails lessons will be food production and nutrition (more science).

We will make room for flowers to attract pollinators. Warm colors on one side, cool colors on the other. Art class, have a ball out here!

On the west end we will plant fruit trees that will bear soon (papaya, bananas, Barbados cherry, pineapples, dwarf mango). Dividing the areas will be “green” walls planted with mints made of pallets to contain compost.

It’s my nature to jump into things with both feet and go all-out. But I know that a garden requires work to build and plant and water and weed. We have a 7000 square foot “canvas” work with but I have scaled down the planting area to 700 square feet including mulched pathways and stepping-stones.

As I was measuring, a teacher guided her students past and asked them “Is he measuring area or volume?” They are learning even before the garden is built.

Disney’s Nursery Flower Trials, May, 2015