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