Even though I’ve started a new job as a nurse,
There’s still plenty of time for gardening.
In fact, there’s time for an entirely NEW garden!
Baby is attending a new school on an eleven acre campus.
The playground is au natural, the property is wooded, there will be meadows…The school is working with individuals from the Missouri Department of Conservation to establish proper native meadow habitats (think Shaw Nature Preserve on a smaller scale).
The best part, of course, is…a brand new garden! And I am the Garden CEO! Woooo!
We walked the site last Sunday to scout it out to create a garden plan.
He attended this same preschool (at a smaller campus), and is excited for his sister to attend the new and improved school!
Can you spot the Spy in the picture above? He had a great time walking the site even if…
I am a big believer that in order to create inviting garden spaces (especially that are inviting to kids) you need to abandon the typical rectangular raised beds and create raised beds with lovely curves that mimic and enhance the landscape surrounding the garden. I am also opposed to using materials (wood/stone/etc.) as borders for raised beds because it really limits you when you want to expand/change the shapes/size of the beds. To see how I begin this process of raised beds without “typical” borders/rectangles see the post on How to Dig. To read more about why I believe in “thinking beyond the rectangle” check out this post from when I planted our garlic in a spiral: Garlic Planting.
After very thorough…
I came up with this plan:
Even though the plan is not exactly drawn to scale, the diameter of the teepee will be at least ten feet (it needs to accommodate lots of little preschoolers!) The area outside the teepee will serve as a gathering/meeting area for important garden talks!
What all will be planted in each of the plots?
Hold your horses! We’ve got to dig the thing first! Loads of seedlings can be started on/before March 1st and by the time they are ready to go in the ground mid-March (through mid-May) we’ll have their destinations mapped out!
Here are some more notable features/explanations of the plan:
- All of the numbered plots are the raised beds. They will be raised beds without wood borders (so just an edged out border created by digging them as I mentioned). They will be numbered to enable more organized approach to garden duties (as the kids/parents/teachers will be working in the garden)
- The teepee will have a roughly 10’ diameter, so though the drawing isn’t exactly to scale, that measurement on the plan can be used to gauge the rough sizes of the beds. Beds #5-9 would be roughly 3’ x 10’ rectangles. Plenty of room between them to make them wider in coming years/seasons (and/or longer).
- Lots of open grass space at the entry way of the garden. More plots could be added there in later seasons/years.
- Room for a kid-sized produce stand (basically a long, low table with a sun-shade above) (somewhere near the entrance in the large grassy area)
- Gathering area outside the teepee will be a large grassy area and will feel enclosed because of the teepee and the plot surrounding it.
- All the ground around the plots is grass (as is)
- The sloped hill is too steep to be worked in by the kids (at least until summer when it is not so slippery/muddy) so it is a perfect place to just let pumpkins grow wild, which should do great sprawling down the hill.
- Front arbor entry gate will have a sign posted/some type of waterproof plastic board feature to post garden news/to-dos/etc.
- The path to the garden runs along the big rock retaining wall and swings wide around the muddy “sledding” hill. This was the least steep point of entry to the garden and will avoid cutting through the big sledding hill.
If you have any suggestions or tips for a preschool garden, please post a comment, I’d love to hear feedback on this plan! I may be the CEO, but I’m no dictator! hahahah