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Re: Plant identification for teenagers

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Plant identification for teenagers
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 22:10:08 EDT

A first draft idea for r the teenagers....
I. Formal viewing garden: 
You take a big blank table, and call it empty lot. Cover it with  newsprint. 
Mark areas "rocky", "deep shade," "mottled light," full  sun.  Have them do 
the mathematical work to put the space to scale....and  work out problems like 
water sources, if they need a fence, where the garden  shed and tools go. 
Then you talk to them about what a public garden is - and how one paints  
with perennials. Explain that it's like a department store, or mall window,  
except it's plants, and there has to be a progression of color, shape, and  
interest for people going through during the season. 
You have a botanical garden -  take them, and get one of the gardeners  
explain, though garden pictures the growing show, the three dimensional staging  of 
color in a formal garden. 
Yes I had a teenager - but all teenagers like to be smart. Have them figure  
out, with garden books and descriptions of plant progression during a season, 
as  to when perenials will be interesting in your area, the keeping up of a 
garden  show with bulbs, annuals, perennials, annuals, dahlias, foliage, and 
then  setting it all up again for bulbs. Or how iinteresting grasses and topiary 
can  look under the snow....
A great deal to think about on an empty piece of paper.  
I have always thought of the three seasons of a formal,or even the "show  
area" of a community garden, as best described as a kind of firework display in  
very, very slow motion....and yes, your guys have to learn their plants and 
take  gardentours, and create, in a bed in a garden, by planning the placement 
of  plants, and underplanting the most visual interest.  
It's learning plant identification by learning the plant's properties, and  
how to use them as characters in the drama of a garden. 
II. Food gardening - the same newsprint on a table. Sun, shade, rocks - and  
the challenge of growing the most varied, good food, economically, with your  
short growing season, with veggies that work for you locally. 
Learning about beneficial plants, insects, raised beds, what Organic means. 
Learning how to dig a French BioIntensive bed, or a Lasagna gardening bed,  
and how to use sun - learning things like how you really shouldn't touch  
tomatoes if you've been smokeing. 
How basil , tomatoes, and marigolds work together - and other synergistic  
A lot to teach, a lot to learn. 
Best regards, 
Adam Honigman

Hello  All,  Here in Winnipeg there is a provincially sponsored  make-work
programme for young people called the 'green team'. These young  people
are meant to help out in community enviro efforts. But with ferns  like
that who needs anemones? Recently they went to our community garden  with
the objective of string trimming the verges. Unfortunately they  string
trimmed over $1,000 of perennials. In an effort to make lemonade out  of
lemons I have offered to do a small workshop for them on plant id.  This
is a tough crowd to play to because, being 15-17 years old they are  at
the stage where they know everything. For instance they know that  there
are 3 kinds of plants, flowers,trees and grasses. Only flowers  have
flowers, if trees and grasses had flowers they would be called  flowers.
I just want to give these kids a bit of respect for our  gardeners
knowledge and to lead them to suspect that there might be more to  it
than string trimming everything that does not look like a  petunia.Any
ideas? For now I have asked their supervisor to keep them out  of the
garden with any mechanical tools. This workshop is scheduled for  next
week. Any suggestions at all greatly appreciated.  Thanks   Karen   
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