School Gardens, Weeding, & Welcomes

School Gardens, Weeding, & Welcomes

Yesterday, three nice things happened to me while I was at the school where I am the “new” garden club advisor. I went over to continue my spring clean up which commenced last week before the first of two snow storms.  Three consecutive Thursdays were scheduled to work in the garden, but this week had to be moved to Friday to accommodate melting snow. I was cutting back dead stems and scooping up dead leaves when a person exited the building and exclaimed, “Look who’s working in the garden already!”

A Nice Supportive Conversation

I identified the person as Bridget, the former executive assistant at this school and also gardener extraordinaire. I was glad to see her as I had questions about some of the plants, as well as the logistics of spring activities in this garden. In talking with her, I thought that we had very similar ways of thinking about and managing the garden. This was both a pleasure and a relief to realize.

We Have Some Money for You

Then, one of the secretaries came out and told me that they had recently had a “jeans day” at school and had raised some money. They were gifting me $275.00 for spring garden expenses! Wow! Talk about a gift!  This will more than cover annual plants for the garden beds. The PTO or TEAM as they are called there has an additional sum in the range of  four to five hundred dollars for mulch!

I know that money is not everything. But, after thirteen years of having to scrape by with nothing for my previous garden club except what was raised from plant sales and grant writing, both extremely time-consuming and exhausting activities for me, it was truly a gift to have my work be supported financially!  Having not to worry about this part of  gardening with the students, lifts a considerable burden off my shoulders!

Can You Save Those Clippings for Me?

Lastly, while I was carrying some garden debris to the dumpster (there is no composting pile), the art teacher stepped outside and asked if I was throwing the clippings out. I told her I was placing them in the dumpster as I was told to do. She laughed, indicating that I had misunderstood. No, she said, “I want to have them!” I saw you walk by with something I thought I could use as a weave in a project. I thought that was so cool that she was observant enough and quick on her feet to take advantage of the moment and ask for the clippings. Before I left I had saved her a box, and got to see what the project was that she was referring to  – decorating a section of fencing for our local ARTSPIRE event. I hope I get to see the finished product, as it will be cool to know I contributed to it in some small way!

A Warm Welcome

All in all, I feel very welcomed by this new school community. I have been invited to attend the teacher’s staff meeting on Tuesday of this week. I will be pleased to tell them more about myself, the vision I have for the gardens at this school, how we can engage the students more in the gardens, contribute to their sense of place, and seek to continue their developing support.

Once again, I feel like I have landed in a place I can grow, for there seems to be many supports.  Thank you for all for the warmest of welcomes!

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