Developing Character in the Garden

Anti-Bullying Strategies
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Creating a No-Bully Zone

Although the 2011-2012 school year is coming to an end, this is a great time to start planning an anti-bullying unit for the start of the 2012-2013 school year. Here is an activity to guide you and your students through the process of designing your own anti-bullying contract.

Download the Bullying Prevention Activity (PDF) »

A principal's insight on how school gardens can eliminate bullying.    

Young gardeners contributing to the larger effort of beautifying the school.Within a garden live many individual plants. Each of these plants alone can be beautiful and unique, but as a whole, alongside all the other plants, they are so much more.

Cleaning Indoor Air with Plants

So it’s the winter season, and my kids and I have been thinking about purchasing some new indoor plants to spruce up the house. Of course instead of having another typical plant shopping trip, I begin thinking about how to make this experience adventurous and educational! This is when I remembered a past article, by Charlie Nardozzi, about a study conducted between NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA).

Creating Your Own Children’s Garden

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Are you looking for an indoor activity for the garden? Download these simple instructions to create signs for indoor and outdoor gardens.

Here is a geography lesson for grades 3-5 to introduce the topics of longitude and latitude as they relate to botanical gardens. Download Where in the World???

Think back to your childhood. Can you remember any interactions with plants or a garden that made an impression on you? I can remember the first time I learned about snapdragons. I was at my grandmother’s house and my mom showed me how you can pinch the sides of the bloom to cause the flower to open and close, which looked like a dragon mouth. I was in awe that a plant could do this. Another time I “discovered” the softness of lamb’s ear. The amazement that a plant’s leaves could feel so soft was a memory that remains with me today.

Carton 2 Garden Contest

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April 22, 2015


May 22, 2015


Entry Kit Request Form
Who is Eligible to Apply
Judging Criteria
Award Packages
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Award Fulfillment
Impact Report


The Carton 2 Garden program is part of Evergreen Packaging’s ongoing effort to raise awareness among consumers on the eco-friendly benefits of paper cartons. Cartons are an eco-friendly packaging choice because more than 70% of milk carton packaging is paper, made from trees, a renewable resource. Currently, over 50% of households in the United States have access to recycling programs that accept paper milk cartons.

Drinking milk and juice has never been more fun with Evergreen Packaging’s Carton 2 Garden Contest. Evergreen Packaging and are on the lookout for your creative and sustainable uses for recycled milk and juice cartons in the garden. Schools are encouraged to collect, design, and construct garden-related structures made from empty cartons and document their experience.

Preserving the School Garden Harvest

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Please Pass the Pumpkin Seeds 

It’s pumpkin time again! Although the eye catching, orange fruit of the pumpkin plant has the honor of being the hallowed symbol of season, the seeds deserve some glory too. Think twice before you toss those pumpkin guts this year. Roasting pumpkins seeds for healthy snacks is yet another way to enjoy the garden’s bounty after the growing season has come to a close. 

Your school garden has fulfilled its promise of plenty, and the harvest has begun. Perhaps you're celebrating abundance by feasting on your delicious produce. But what happens when your garden produces more food than you and your students can eat fresh? How can you continue to benefit from the garden’s bounty after frost or dry conditions bring its productivity to an end? 

Honeybees: Powerhouse Pollinators

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Learn how the typical flower entices pollinators and produces seeds by checking out Digging into Flowers and for a hands-on lesson, learn more about how pollinators interact with flowers by creating your own flower!


Download our Flower Anatomy worksheet 

When we have breakfast each day, we can thank honeybees for making our meal possible by pollinating the blueberries on our cereal, oranges for our juice, or almonds in our muffins.

Honeybees are powerhouse pollinators, the most important pollinators on the planet. In the United States, commercial beekeepers truck thousands of honeybee hives around the country to large-scale farms to pollinate 100 different crops. Apples, sunflowers (grown as a commercial crop for oil), carrots, broccoli, cantaloupes, cucumbers, and pumpkins are all reliant on honeybee pollination.

Terrific Terrariums: Create Your Own Indoor Garden World

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Download this free lesson on terrariums from GrowLab®: A Complete Guide to Gardening in the Classroom.

What are terrariums?

 Are you ready to start gardening? Design and build a small ecosystem in your classroom by creating your own unique terrarium. Terrariums are miniature gardens, usually grown in glass or plastic containers that provide an easy, low-maintenance way to enjoy plants in the classroom. An excellent learning tool, terrariums can help children understand photosynthesis, the water cycle, and even water conservation.

Let's Get Growing in 2014: Seed Starting Q & A

Are you ready to get growing this garden season? Seed starting in the Start seeds in your classroom or greenhouse. For early spring edibles try lettuce, herbs, and radishes.classroom is a great way to engage students in hands-on science lessons that allow them to use observation skills, apply the scientific method, and you get vegetables! If you are starting seeds for the first time, don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn as you grow.

GrowLab®: Your Head Start to Gardening

Get a head start on the growing season with GrowLab® light gardens.  Designed and tested by educators at the National Gardening Association, GrowLabs® are specifically developed to enable you to grow vegetables, flowers, and herbs from seed to maturity. Available in all shapes and sizes, GrowLabs ® are made to accommodate almost any space, need, and price range.

Autism and Gardening

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Benefits of gardening with children diagnosed with autism:

  • Gardens engage the senses without being over stimulating. Children can explore different colors, textures, smells, and sounds in a calming, natural setting.
  • Gardening provides opportunities for children to hone gross and fine motor skills.
  • Gardening allows for repetitive activities, yet still offers some challenge by providing constant change. You can establish a comforting routine (gather needed tools, check on the plants, pull a few weeds, water, etc.), but there will be subtle changes to engage the curiosity of the child with each visit such as ripening tomatoes, new insects to observe, flower buds opening, and leaves changing colors.
  • Gardening is an activity that can be shared. There are many opportunities for positive social interaction and teamwork.

Children with autism bloom in programs that couple inviting garden spaces with appropriately designed horticultural therapy activities. “Many children with autism are calmer and not as anxiety-ridden in the garden space,” shares Gwenn Fried, Manager of Rusk Horticultural Therapy Services at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, NY.

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Kids Gardening and the National Gardening Association actively work with schools and communities across the country to provide educational resources and build gardens to promote health, wellness, and sustainability.


Copyright © 1999-2014 National Gardening Association     | &      |     Created on 03/15/99, 

Last updated on 10/25/2014
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