Words of Wisdom

 

Gardening with Children: Fairy Gardens

Gardening with children is a magical process.  It provides the chance to be open to all types of possibilities for creation, whether it is letting go of order  and watching the organic process happen or listening to the sweet chatter that develops between children and adults. Recently, I spent some brilliant time at my daughters fabulous preschool Cuddletime Preschool in Milwaukie, Oregon building fabulous fairy gardens. I was a bit curious how to build fairy gardens with 12 kids under the age of 5. Here are some key things to know: 1) Have families collect items for the fairy gardens and talking about fairies and their home prior to the day of construction so that material is on hand and the kids are invested prior to actually building the Fairy gardens. 2) Have your sites picked out and clear prior to engaging the kids.  This is because as soon as kids are ready to garden, they are ready! 3) Layout and organize all the fun construction material in an area that is close to the garden sites, but also in a flat area so kids can access the material in a safe and easy manner. 4) Bring the children into the area and give them a “pre-construction” tour of where the areas are, what materials are going to be used, and who is working where. 5) Have 3-4 children helping in each Fairy Garden area. Too many children in one area can be too congested. REMEMBER: children have a limited attention span. They are good for 15-20 minute when gardening (and that is optimistic). 6) The leaders of the construction areas...

SE PDX Fun House

This family home in SE Portland went from drab to fab with super fun features: a covered gazebo, greenhouse, and a deck with hot tub....

Luxury Outdoor Living

New outdoor living spaces for relaxation and entertaining took this luxury home from great to incredible. Take a peek at some of the before & after...

Lasagna Gardening

Lasagna Gardening could be called lazy-man’s gardening or super-efficient gardening. The benefits of this style of gardening is to enhance and continue good soil tilth, feed the soil, protect the soil from erosion and provide a low cost way of dealing with debris. This is a great way to build new beds or put beds to sleep for the winter. Any fleshy green manure will work . For example, any veggie plants that are no longer producing. This picture demonstrates lasagna gardening at its best. Here are the layers: 1) Ground layer 2) Cut pieces 3”-8” long lay on top 3) Then apply a straw layer 2”-3” thick 4) Soil or compost 1” thick 5) Repeat step 2-4 one more time 6) Then apply coffee bean bags, weed fabric or straw to protect the soil. 7) Or plant winter crops right on it. Notes: If applying winter crop sprinkle the seed as even as possible on top of soil and layer straw as the erosion control If planting starts plant right into the layers. DO NOT put blackberry cuttings or ivy in lasagna gardening. Zucchini will have a core piece of the stalk that you can just put into the compost bin Voilà, you are lasagna gardening! ENJOY!!! IMPORTANT: If you are using this method on a bed with existing plants make sure you stay about 3” to 6” away from the base of the plant. This is to prevent the plant from being smothered....