Garden Time

How can you tell time in the garden without using a watch? Check and see what’s blooming!

Flowers have amazing adaptations to attract pollinators. Their scent, colors, and shapes have evolved to draw these vital critters towards them, since in the process of collecting nectar, they also move pollen from flower to flower to ensure seed production and distribution.

Mother’s Day Seed Balls

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Seed balls were used in ancient times but rediscovered in the 1900’s as a way to introduce vegetation on a large scale to uncultivated land such as areas devastated by fire or floods. They are also being used as part of the Guerilla Gardening movement as a way to beautify vacant lots and urban common areas.

The clay keeps the seeds from blowing or washing away, and protects them from hungry critters. It also keeps the seeds from sprouting until adequate water is available. The compost or potting soil adds a bit of nutrients to help give them a jump start.

Download instructions for making Seed Balls.

Finding a special, inexpensive gift for students to create for Mother’s Day is a challenge faced by many educators each year. Both gardening and non-gardening teachers frequently turn to plants for inspiration with popular projects like marigolds planted in small cups and paper flowers. This year, we have a way to move beyond the more traditional ideas by making trendy seed balls!

A Pirate’s Garden

Ahoy Matey! Are you looking for a fun and engaging way to capture a child’s attention outdoors? Dare to walk the plank and plant a Pirate’s Garden!

We love themed plantings as much as any kid, so when educator Carrie Ann Smith shared the idea of a Pirate’s Garden with us, we just had to pass it along. Here are some elements to include so that even the most reluctant swashbuckler will come running to the garden:

Growing Plants on the Roof

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Download this month's lesson What’s Up.

In small urban schoolyards, sometimes it pays to look up when searching for the perfect spot to grow plants. That is exactly how PS 41 in Greenwich Village began their journey to create their extraordinary Greenroof Environmental Literacy Laboratory (GELL).

Extra Special Eggs

This spring, try using natural dyes to decorate your Easter Eggs.

Cylinder Gardening

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Download the Cylinder Gardening Lesson for more details.

A big gardening program…in a little garden space. Cylinder Gardening uses bottomless cylinders (1/2 of a 5 gallon bucket) as small, individual gardens for growing vegetables. Perfect for schools with limited growing space and poor soil, cylinder gardens require little land and minimal pre-gardening preparation or experience. Once the cylinders are filled and planted, the only labor is minor maintenance, watering and harvesting. Recommended plant varieties mature from seed in 30 to 90 days to fit within one school semester.

Growing a Garden Companion

I knew it was time to step up our family’s gardening efforts when my 4-year-old informed me she needed new gardening gloves because hers had dirt on them. Yikes, how did this happen?

Valentine’s Day Botany

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The cacao tree and rose bush are the botanical royalty of Valentine’s Day. What better way to show your love than through a gift of chocolate and flowers?

With plant products in the limelight, Valentine’s provides you with the perfect opportunity to show students the important role our green friends play in our celebrations and traditions. Here are a few fun facts to share with your students this Valentine’s Day:

The Cacao or Chocolate Tree

Fall & Winter Nature Art Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy

Japanese maples leaves are strategically placed to create beautiful art by Goldsworthy.Want to put a new spin on your family’s backyard winter fun? Sparking far more creativity than the typical snowman, introduce your family to the inspiring work of British sculpture and photography artist, Andy Goldsworthy.

Indoor Gardening

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Download sample lesson plans from GrowLab®: Activities for Growing Minds

Make Room for Raddy (pdf)

Plantenstein (pdf)

Does the weather have you stuck inside your classroom? Invite the outdoors in… plant an indoor garden!

Most classrooms garden during the fall and spring, but by incorporating plant activities indoors you can reap the benefits of garden programs year round. Using grow lights or sunny windowsills, your class can experiment with growing a wide range of plants, from houseplants and blooming bulbs to edible crops like radishes and lettuce.

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