Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Autumn garden updates

Under the watchful eye of our Garden Club, the JYC Garden thrived throughout the autumn months. We have many students who love to help us, but we are still looking for more adult volunteers. No garden knowledge or experience is necessary, just a willingness to help out with some simple tasks.

Students watered,

and swept,

pulled out the dead leaves,

and were assisted by school staff and volunteers.

The lilac vine is not very happy, but it still managed to blossom.

Carrots have grown well, and the students have found them tasty.

Snap peas are almost to the top of the fence and are starting to flower. We look forward to enjoying them in the spring.

Sloat Garden Center donated their leftover pumpkins after Halloween, and our garden looked very seasonal throughout November.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Introducing the JYC Garden Club

Many of the barrels in our garden belong to a specific class in our school, and are tended by the students and teacher in that class. As we have grown, we have added planters for everyone to enjoy. In order to take care of these common areas of the garden, we decided to form a Garden Club. It will meet on certain Thursdays during the lunch period. Students, parents, and special volunteers will work together on various gardening tasks.

Our first meeting of the Garden Club was on Thursday, September 29th. Ten students from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades worked along with several adult volunteers and Mr. Lee.

Filling new barrels with soil

Raking the soil

Planting seeds

Thinning the calendula sprouts

Pulling dead leaves off the passionflower plant

Working as a team to sweep up leaves

Pitching in to help

We look forward to many more successful meetings of the Garden Club. We had more student volunteers than we could accommodate at once in our small garden, so we plan to give all interested students a chance to participate. If you would like to volunteer and assist our students, please contact the school office with your interest.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Benches and Fences

Our Buckingham benches arrived, and Mr. SooHoo finished assembling them for us. It's exciting to see that students are using the garden as a place to hang out during recess.

The benches have also helped to enclose the garden in a rectangle, and better separate it from the play area of the Lower Yard. There is now less running through the garden and hiding behind the barrels.

Four of the rectangular planters have been planted with flowering evergreens that should grow up the fences. Not only will this make our garden prettier, but will also give our yard more privacy from busy Broadway Street, block some of the wind that was too much for our more delicate plants, and maybe even reduce the noise and pollution from the street.

The first planter on the left contains Lilac Vine, or Hardenbergia violacea. It will bloom in the winter through the spring.

The middle planter has been planted with Coral Seas Passion Flower, or Passiflora jamesonii. It will bloom in the spring through the fall. The flowers will have a coral color, similar to the flowers already growing on the Upper Yard's fence and wall.

The planter on the right contains White Anemone Clematis, or Clematis montana grandiflora. It is supposed to bloom in the spring, but we already have some pretty white flowers blooming. Bachelor's buttons seeds were also planted. The purple flowers should contrast nicely with the white above.

In the corner there are two Pink Jasmine, or Jasminum polyanthum, plants. The light pink flowers have already started blooming, and will mainly appear in late winter and early spring.

Many thanks to Morris Jackson at Sloat Garden Center for his assistance in selecting and ordering these plants for us!

This school year every classroom has been assigned a barrel or a planter. Here are two of the new barrels, ready for planting!

Soon we will add another row of barrels as well.

The JYC Garden
September, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September in the JYC Garden

Some of the seeds that were planted in the summer have sprouted and are growing beautifully. Congratulations and thank you to those students who are helping water and maintain our garden!

Radishes are ready to eat. Who is ready to try one?

Several varieties of lettuce are growing beautifully in our garden. Some are ready to eat, some are still growing, others are just starting to sprout.

We have many green tomatoes. It's hard to believe they were just seeds not that long ago!

Spinach didn't really take for some reason, but one plant is growing.

Carrots were planted later and are just starting to sprout.

In addition to vegetables, we are growing some herbs, such as parsley and mint.

Our strawberry plants are still producing some fruit as well. This is the only edible plant in the garden which was not grown from seed.

Lest you think that we have magically morphed into master gardeners in our first year, we will also share some of the challenges we have faced. It's an important lesson for the students as well, to observe that sometimes things don't work out the way you expect and to see that we learn from our mistakes.

The milkweed was planted in the spring, but was overwhelmed by the poppies and did not grow. Once the poppies were removed, the milkweed sprouted and is growing nicely.

The chard grew wonderfully in the spring, but it has not thrived in the fall. They have received some TLC since this photo was taken, and we hope that they will soon thrive. If not, then we'll pull them out and plant something else.

Caterpillars have eaten through the broccoli this fall, just like they did in the spring. We're keeping a closer eye on the plants now, and removing caterpillars regularly.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What a student sees in the garden

Several JYC students helped care for the garden throughout the summer. Some were summer school students. Others were children of parent volunteers. They all did a great job and we are all grateful for their help!

One of these students brought her camera along one day in July. Here are some of her shots of the garden.

It almost looks like broccoli!

Not all California poppies are orange

Ladybugs like pansies too

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer In Bloom at JYC!

It's summer, and the flowers are blooming, there are still snap peas and lettuce and even a few late strawberries. The planters from Forever Redwood have been installed ready for planting. The garden is taking shape, and ready for next year!