One of our ongoing projects at Schoolhouse is the beautification of our outdoor spaces, especially at our Grey Street site.Over the last several years our outdoor space has been transitioning from a ‘traditional’ playground with climbing equipment to what could be described as more of an ‘adventure’ type play space with open-ended materials.
One of the ways we are ‘beautifying’ the playground is incorporating more garden plants and flowers.Our original planter box gardens were added approximately ten to fifteen years ago, thanks to the combined efforts of a working group of parents, staff, as well as donations from local businesses.More recent additions include hanging planter boxes and baskets and garden beds fashioned out of wooden pallets.We have really benefitted from the welcome greenery and splashes of colour; and the children have helped (in their own unique ways) to maintain our plants.
This past Spring the Infant and Toddler groups decided to test out their green thumbs to try to grow peas and beans.Not only are these typically the easiest plants to start indoors; they will continue to grow over the summer.A patch of mint was brought into the yard as well.It’s edible, very hardy and near indestructable; which is perfect for curious toddlers who love to smell, taste, and pick the leaves.It is also quite invasive, and will take over our small garden bed very quickly; so it will remain in its planter box until the fall.
We are looking forward to tasting the vegetables, hopefully the birds and squirrels won’t find them right away.Our crop of wildflowers have begun to bloom, much to everyone’s enjoyment.Of course we still love the shade that our birch trees provide, which has been very welcome with these hot summer days!
Hopefully we will be able to bring our plants with us when we move to our new site.Perhaps we can designate part of our new outdoor space for gardens!
Don McMahon R,ECE