In the Garden

Earlier this week, I went to the joyful occasion of my second grader’s “Garden Fence Commemoration.”

There have been garden beds at the school for as long as my children have been there. As I learned from the timeline created by the children, the first garden was actually created in 1997.

For as long as I can remember, the raised beds have languished in various states of weedy neglect. To add insult to injury, in 2002 as my daughter points out in her contribution to the timeline above, “Mr. Groundhog” arrived at Murray and began gobbling up plants as fast as they sprouted.

This spring, one of my friends and her husband spearheaded the move to build a solid fence around the garden to keep Mr. Groundhog and other marauding animals out. Enlisting the aid of volunteer parents, they erected the fence over the course of a weekend. In preparation for the serious gardening they could now look forward to, the second graders took a field trip to a local farm and had individual consultations with a farmer about what plants they were thinking about growing. They were each given seeds or starter plants.

Back at school, the garden beds were divided up so that each child could have his or her own little plot. All spring they’ve been keeping a garden journal and faithfully tending their plots with great enthusiasm. They have lovingly watered their plants and have pulled weeds.

Their teachers helped them create a beautiful sign…

make a map of the garden…

and write new lyrics to the tune of “Three Blind Mice” to celebrate their garden.

They learned how to play their song on the ukulele and to sing it in a round.

Parents were invited to come to the celebration.

After performing their song for an appreciative crowd, the children gave tours of the garden. My daughter proudly led me around each of the beds, naming every single plant and the gardener friend who tended it.

Seeds have been planted in fertile soil. Lessons in science, math, maps, history, writing, art, and music all sprung from the garden: a bountiful harvest!

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