Saturday, September 8, 2007

Ice Cream Social

Why are these people marching?

There was a party at the Washington Youth Garden yesterday where children and parents who've been tending their plots came out for an afternoon of games and ice cream.

There was mural painting, flag making, musical instrument construction, old-fashioned ice cream churning, a jazz band playing tunes from "Sesame Street" and "Scoobie-Doo."

And a long line of people waiting for a cup of Ben & Jerries.

The kids could also choose to have their faces painted with a choice of butterflies. Then they pulled on their costumes--a salad selection of vegetables--and marched around beating their drums, shaking their noise makers and waving their flags with garden coordinator Christopher Turse taking the lead.

Needless to say, a good time was had by all. Especially if you got to the ice cream (five or six times) before it melted.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Our New Pond

I've been meaning to write forever about all the work Elizabeth did in the Spring to build a pond in the middle of hour herb container.

We built our herb container large--eight-by-eight-feet square--to be the centerpiece of our school garden. We knew we wouldn't be able to reach into the middle of such a large space so we built a second box, half the size, and set that in the middle of the first box, turned 90 degrees to make a sort of compass effect, since the theme of the garden starts with the four compass points. We've been growing herbs and flowers in the space between the two boxes.

We put a lid on top of the inner box, thinking eventually we would use it as a platform for some kind of fountain. But then Elizabeth had the brilliant idea of removing the lid and lining the smaller box and filling it with water. So on any given day you could find Elizabeth sitting in the box, lining it first with sheets of rubber to make it leak-proof, then breaking up ceramic tiles and cementing the pieces to the box to make this very cool ceramic enclosure.

Elizabeth also purchased a small solar-powered fountain for the pond and we finally had our water feature. It wasn't until this week that I finally got around to focusing on some plant life for our pond. I stopped at Bittersweet Nurseries outside Annapolis for some ideas and walked away with several plants, including a water lily, cattails, a water hyacinth and several others that are very familiar but whose names I do not know.

These are all perennial plants that will come back year after year, even if the water freezes. The water lily will set out lovely yellow blossoms at some point. You can also buy annuals that float on the surface and make flowers. A few small fish from the pet store should help with any mosquito larvae that may try to make a home in our pond.