Celebrating Gardens: A School Garden

mykidsinthebutterflygarden

I am a newly retired school teacher. Simply put, I loved my work, enjoyed spending my days with young people, and loved sharing the experience of learning with them for 27 years. I was fortunate to be able to spend most of my teaching years at the same elementary school, Peter Kirk Elementary, in Kirkland, in the Seattle metro area. It was a very nice community to work in and I appreciated (and did not take for granted!) the wonderful care and support given to all of us at the school by the parents and the community.

During the last five years of my teaching, there was one parent who took on the volunteer job of “school gardener.” That wasn’t the official title, but she was a gardener and a “do-er” and, with PTSA funding, she slowly began to transform the little garden areas both inside and outside of the school into beautiful, meaningful gardens. I took great delight in watching that transformation, and she became my gardening hero, my mentor.

signorderlogoOne project she created was a butterfly garden with the 2nd graders. It was a learning garden, with classroom lessons created and taught by parent volunteers, providing hands-on gardening experiences for our students. It became a certified wildlife habitat, named affectionately by the 2nd graders as the “Flutterby Butterfly Garden.”

She also refurbished an old “Native Plants Garden” that had been put together many years earlier by 6th graders as a year-end gift to the school. It was greatly in need of care, and she gave it wonderful care! It was located in a courtyard right inside the front entrance to the school, so it became a lovely “first impression.”

I watched closely as she did project after project in the different courtyard areas and around the school and I learned that one gardener can make a huge difference. She is my inspiration as I return to gardening in this new stage of my life.  I hope you enjoy this slideshow of some of the photos I’ve taken of her gardens in the last few years. Kudos to you, Bobbi O.

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