>Abracadabra and it’s done!

>I wish it had been as simple as abracadabra but my aching back and hands tell me different. Today was GO! day for the preschool garden redesign project. I had a fantastic helper with me, Reynaldo, and together we shoveled, wheelbarrowed, dug, spread, and stomped for 8 hours…and finished!

You can see more about how this project started here and here.

First, we got all of the gardening soil in- about 8 inches deep when all was said and done- in all of the beds. Then we moved onto the mulch and put in about 3 inches of mulch into all of the beds. There was mulch to spare which I will use when I turn over the veggie bed to warm season vegetables next week.

This first picture, you can see our next step of putting landscape cloth down. I had previously sprayed the grass to kill it all, but we want to make sure we make it as tough as possible for weeds to come up through the decomposed granite pathways we were ready to lay.You can see our existing vegetable garden in the foreground…lettuce anyone?

Through this all, we had lots of company. About 5-10 kids were constantly visiting with us from the playground whenever they were outside. We got all kinds of questions:

  • What ‘ya doin?
  • Can we play in the dirt?
  • When do we get to come in?
  • Can you build a secret passageway that you only tell me about?
  • Can we plant pizza seeds?

At least it made me forget that I was unloading what must have been the 400th wheelbarrow load because I was laughing…

What I will say is THANK GOD FOR REYNALDO!

He was my saving grace, hoofing those wheelbarrows back and forth to me so I could unload and spread all of the material.  Here he is cleaning off the walls making everything look perfect.  When he smoothed the dirt in the first bed, I thought it looked so perfect, I didn’t want to plant anything in it.

So there it is!  Now I can’t wait to get out there and plant those pizza seeds.

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>Here we go!

>The preschool garden redesign is approved and moving forward. The last two days, we have had our irrigation guy out there reworking the spriklers so we no longer have to suffer with the powerful jet stream sprinklers that water the lawn but do nothing for vegetables and ornamentals. He has run spray heads all along the line of our new beds and, my personal favorite, a line for drip irrigation ON IT’S OWN ZONE through the vegetable garden (thank you, thank you, thank you to whatever power in the universe made this happen!)

In addition the rock guy came out and built all of the lovely rock walls for the beds. We just ran treated lumber along the back to insure the dirt doesn’t fall through the fence. These beds are just for ornmentals, so I am not worried about using the treated lumber.

But i love these rock walls and the irrigation. Did I mention the drip lines – OK, OK, I know. It’s just that I had to water that vegetable bed like every day when I would pick up Alex during the horrible summer we had last year .

Then tonight, I met Bill, our fantastic delivery guy, at the school after hours. Sounds sneaky, I know but I can assure you, it was all about dirt! I lie, it was about dirt, and mulch, and decomposed granite. 5.5 cu yds of dirt, 3 cu yds of mulch and 2 cu yds of decomposed granite. All from Geo Growers, I love that place as well.

So tomorrow is it- the big build day. See you bright and early- I’ll be the one with the shovel!

>Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes

>I’m happy to announce that I am the proud new mama of a school garden re-design that is moving forward.  It’s wonderful when something you design is accepted and people are enthusiastic about it.  In this case, I’m even more excited because it is for one of the school gardens I help out in and directly affects one of my little ones and all of her friends.

The preschool garden I manage right now exists of a 6′ x 12′ vegetable garden and an herb spiral.  The kids love planting seeds and harvesting with me, but it just seemed like a waste of good gardening space to have the rest of the area as grass.  Last week, however, I presented a design to take the entire 23′ x 23′ space and make it into a garden bursting with textures and smells, attracting bees and butterflies, and creating a garden sanctuary for the preschool classes to visit and learn about plants, nature and gardening.  The design was accepted.

Before:

After:

Of course, what’s important is how the garden is used by the classrooms, so I’ll be working with the directors to gather activities for kids from 1 year old to 6 years old to let them get the most out of the garden. I want them to be able to appreciate how the plants feel, smell and look, how insects can be both good and bad in the garden, and how gardens change over the seasons and years.

Some gardening days are especially sweet!