florida gardening Royal Palm Chapter San Carlos Park Elementary school garden

Beds Intact, Tools In Boxes

After an historic rain event (7″ in three days) I expected soil and mulch to be washed into the next county, but they were unscathed. The beds are level and the mulch is thick so all these bulky materials just settled down.

I just stocked the tool box benches with new gardening tools. The short bench accommodated three totes perfectly. A dozen kids will be busy with

trowels, transplanters and cultivators. Ames has a nice line of long-handled tools with a 15 year guarantee. Here we have a round shovel, flat shovel, hard rake, leaf rake, hoes and a broom. And the cutest short handled shovels too.

We will give Mrs. Williams a $50.00 gift certificate to Johnny’s Selected Seeds. They have a full line of flower and vegetable seeds for her to plan the fall and spring garden.

FNGLA Royal Palm Chapter San Carlos Park Elementary

Thank you Royal Palm Chapter, FNGLA.

Last March, this garden was just an idea. San Carlos Park Elementary Resource Teacher, Mrs. Williams wanted an activity for the after-school kids. Then, members of nearby Parkway Baptist Church wanted to benefit the school with volunteers and talent and the idea took shape. Then came the issue of funding. We asked the Board of Directors of the Royal Palm Chapter (Florida Nursery Grower Landscape Association) for grant money and they obliged.

The funds bought lumber, hardware, paint, soil, mulch, tools, and more. This fall there will be money for seeds, fruit trees, fertilizer, and pots. The investment will benefit the students and teachers for years. We are grateful to the Royal Palm Chapter for their generosity and their commitment to horticultural education.

florida gardening San Carlos Park Elementary school garden

Beds, Soil, Mulch, and Rain

The weather cooperated with our plan. Thursday morning nearly 20 men, women, and children showed up at 7:30, eager to move a mountain…of potting soil.

It rained all night but paused long enough for us to shovel five yards of soil into wheelbarrows, walk it 300 feet to fill vacant planter boxes, then spread a pallet of mulch. In two hours we were done. More photos to follow…after the rain stops.

florida gardening garden bench San Carlos Park Elementary school garden

Garden Benches

Every garden needs tools and a place to store them. For the San Carlos Park Elementary garden I came up with the idea of combining a storage box and a bench.

Typical chair height for adults is 16″ but for children it’s 12″ so I made one for each size. The frame is pressure-treated lumber lined with T-11 siding, topped with tongue and groove cypress decking. The leaves are 3/4″ pine painted with acrylic.

I put these details here for two reasons: People go to the internet for inspiration and instruction. (What can I do…then how do I do it?) I hope this helps. Click on each photo for captions.

When the teachers and parents return this fall they may look at the handiwork and say “The second graders sure are talented here!” My desire is that a second grader looks at this creation and says “Hey, I could do that!”

florida gardening San Carlos Park Elementary school garden

Mark Out the Beds

Here is the final plan.
Here is the final garden plan.
The marking paint won't stick to sand for long.
The marking paint won’t stick to sand for long.
Looks like everything will fit.
Looks like everything will fit.

Now is the time to drive stakes and mark where the beds will be at San Carlos Park Elementary. Next week we begin building raised beds.