Sunday, September 30, 2012

Progress Continues!

Walkway overlooking wetlands
completed by Eagle Scout, Andrew!
The lower trail is muched and lined
led by Eagle Scout, Tyler!

Tyler with some of his crew!

Trees and sky along the path

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Long Awaited Friend Arrived Today!

Our Monarch Hatched!

An hour or so after hatching,
the butterfly sits on our hands!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Progress and Projects

Little children love the dandelion, why may not we?  LHB
Liberty Hyde Bailey was a man ahead of his time . . . I feel as if we may be catching his meaning and making a better place for students, teachers and gardens.  Here is what he wrote in the early 1900's

"This modern educational process is the active method as distinguished from the sit-still method.  It arouses, stimulates, individualizes the learner, developing its own mental movement.  The older method is largely one of repression and subjugation.  It is little less than barbarous to keep children sitting all day on benches."  -L. H. Bailey, from "The School of the Future" in The Outlook to Nature, 1905

We are making good progress as the Eagle Scouts are working their magic on the grounds here at North Shore!  Andrew has the decking on site and will be securing it in the days ahead. 
Wetland Overlook Project
This evening I was out flagging a wasp nest that needs removal by someone braver than myself.  Checking out the other gardens and projects, I walked over to our raised bed of dandelions to see what was growing.  For two years I've been weeding everything but the dandelions out of that bed.  (As many of you know, we planted dandelions for our groundbreaking in honor of Liberty Hyde Bailey, who enjoyed all plants and found dandelions no different.  In fact, he even wrote a poem on their behalf.)  But here's the problem with that dandelion garden.  As soon as I have pulled out all the other plants, new plants spring to life practically spontaneously, until it's a mass of vegetation of all sorts and varieties living very vigilantly together.  The dandelions never took over.  I have come to believe that dandelions prefer to grow next to other types of plants.  They flourish best within a diversity of plant life.  How very cool is that?!  The humble dandelion sets such a good example for those of us who seem to prefer the security of sameness.  That little flower has many endearing qualities I never knew before this venture.  We have plans to re-dedicate that bed to perhaps a butterfly garden, but before it goes down, here are just a few shots of the humble plants that grow so well together.  I have to admit, I've grown to like that crazy bed of vagabond plants that seem to come from nowhere and find a home with us.     

Weeds have a way of taking the smallest plot of ground and creating a modest garden, without cost, worry or regret.  And in addition, they service the bees, butterflies and all kinds of creatures, just for being exactly where they were destined to be. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Work In Progress

Mulched trail through our woods
Today we made great gains on the trails here at North Shore!  Tyler led a crew that cleared and prepared the second trail through the woods.  DeGrandchamps donated wood chips and about a third of that trail has been covered.  They will need additional chips to continue the project.  It is looking very cool!  The first trail (out to the wetland area) was also mulched today by Neil, his mom Ann and myself.  It was a beautiful day to work!  Thank you to all who donated time, materials and/or labor!  If you have a chance, consider taking a walk on this new path through the woods.  You will be amazed at the diversity of trees and the beauty of this little stand of woods.  Tyler, with the help of others, will be making tree identification signs and adding bird houses on this nature trail.  I can't wait to show my students!   Generosity, hard-work and perseverance is alive and well on the Liberty Hyde Bailey Interpretive Garden Path!