Our beautiful school garden didn’t happen over night. Sherri-Sandfort-Semon has been helping our garden grow from the beginning. I asked her a few questions about the history of our garden. I hope it gives you a sense of how far we’ve come!
Q: What did the garden look like when you first started?
A: In 2008, the garden looked as if it had been spectacular about 25 years ago, but was completely over-run by invasive vines. The vines were so aggressive, they even ruined the fence, which we still need to replace. In order to get to the garden, we removed about 28 bags of vine, and spent three Saturdays sweating it!
Q: Who designed the garden?
A: The Garden was designed by a horticulturalist who specializes in native species, Paige Keck of Foras Studios Design.
Q:What was the biggest challenge with the garden?
A: Just like any construction project, we needed to continually revise the timeline, and everything took longer than expected. The stairs were hand forged, the vinehouse was hand-made, the deck was created on site, the wood elements and rock area were all placed by parent volunteers. The hardest challenge was to keep each one of the projects moving forward to complete the garden in 15 months. The biggest challenge now, is to keep it properly watered…especially anything that is under nature’s umbrella, a tree.
Q: What has been your favorite part about the garden?
A: After-school watering party. Interacting with the children and guiding their observations, being there to answer their questions. This is priceless.
Q: How did you get the grants?
With lots of internet searching, writing, developing plans, and working with a team. Without Megan Nordgren, who wrote and guided our research ( and did much of it herself!) none of this would have ever happened. She is a star!
Q: Anything else you wanted to say about the garden?
A: Two things come to mind: 1. The best part of creating a garden, is working alongside parents and becoming their friends. 2. Two time capsule discoveries- when we were excavating for planting we discovered a large, hand-made mosaic. Can you find where we put it? We also discovered that the yellow roses were planted in honour of a PS84 mother 20 years ago. Please think of Iraida Faria when you pass by!