Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Fiest Elementary School Garden

Both of my daughters attended Fiest Elementary.  For ten years, I had a daughter at Fiest.  Although I currently do not have any children in elementary school, the place will also hold a special place in my heart.
In the summer of 2000, a Boy Scout created the original Fiest Garden.  My oldest came to Fiest to start first grade that fall.  The Boy Scouts had installed the garden, but left the care of the garden up to the PTO.  I along with many others worked in the garden off and on to keep it in shape. 
Then in the fall of 2009, it was suggested to me that my youngest daughter’s Girl Scout Troop give the garden a makeover for their Bronze Award.  The girls were in 5th grade and in their last year at Fiest.  So the idea was planted and I set to work laying out the plans for the renovations.

This is the Fiest Garden before the renovations.

The garden at the time had several Crape Myrtle trees that had come up from seed and needed to be removed.

Old railroad ties marked the spot of a from years gone by vegetable garden.

I few stepping stones marked a pathway that was not clearly defined, so students often walked through the beds.

The lawn area and the garden blurred around the edges.

I had planted two dwarf Barbados cherrys and a firebush (Hamelia patends) years ago and they were still hanging on.

Each girl in the troop decorated their own mosaic stepping stone.  This one is a dragonfly.

This one is mine, with a heart of course, because I love gardening.

Now, the Fiest garden has clear pathways and stepping stones for visitors.

The bird bath attracts many varieties of birds.


The old stepping stones from the garden were repurposed into a boundary between the lawn and garden.

A sign welcomes visitors to the garden.

This sign lets visitors know who to contact to help with the garden.

This sign is just a reminder to treat the garden gently, because it is a fragile habitat.

This sign is a big thank you to all the folks that donated money for the renovations.

We followed the guidelines to become a Monarch Way Station.

The garden is a Certified Wildlife Habitat.  The nesting boxes have been put to good use.

The garden was made over in fall of 2009 and this is a photo from the spring of 2010.

Many new native plants were added to the garden as well was wildlife friendly plants.

The garden also has many old fashion passalong plants and bulbs.

The students and staff were so pleased with the transformation of the garden.
 I have continued to work in the Fiest Garden.  I spend about an hour on average at the garden per week.  Usually, the Girls Scouts return twice a year to help out.  We will have a work day in the garden, in which we plant a few set plants, toss around some seeds, mulch and water.

The summer of 2011, was particular hard on the garden, because of the drought.  The elementary school also had all the bathrooms remodeled, and the water was shut off at the school.  This meant that during the hottest and driest parts of the summer this garden was not watered.
When school started, I was able to water the garden again.  Many of the plants I thought were dead slowly came back.  I spread some zinnia, cosmos and salvia seeds, then we were lucky enough to get a few rain showers and the temperature cooled down.  In the end, the garden is currently having a nice fall flush.  The next group of pictures I took this past weekend.

Nearly Wild Rose and Rose Colored Garden Mums

The garden is a colorful place for butterflys.

Rosemary, lantana, firebush, Mexican Bush Sage to just name a few of the plants performing well.

Salmon colored Black-eyed Susan Vine

Knock Out Rose, lantana and zinnias

Mexican Bush Sage, Mexican Hat and Lantana

Mexican Hat, Zinnias and Cosmos

Knock Out Rose, Lantana and Zinnias

Zinnias and Cosmos

Mexican Bush Sage, Zinnias and Cosmos



Mexican Bush Sage and Cosmos

Celosia argentea

Mexican Hat

1 comment:

  1. Lucy, I just visited your Blog. What a nice job you did for the Fiest Garden. I like the progression of photos that helps to tell the story. Hope to stop in again. You did well. Jack


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.