I have found that many teachers want to incorporate a learning garden into their curriculum but do not know how to garden. This is not a big issue for the teachers if they collaborate with an experienced gardener, horticulture agent, garden club, or master gardener to help train the teachers.
Choosing what and where to plant takes research and thought. I have compiled a list of things we took into consideration when we selected the plants that will transform the courtyard into a platform for hands-on learning through nature.
If you are building a learning garden, the raised garden beds may be the central focus of all your teaching. It is important that you have the right material for your school gardening efforts. Fortunately, our county extension office just renovated their demonstration garden, and I can show you some examples that can be used at school or at home.
As I drive to the grocery store, I pass a school with an outdoor classroom and learning garden. I have often been envious of the space and considered how lucky they are to have it. A few years ago, the school principal contacted the Extension Office asking for help from the Master Gardeners. Despite having an amazing resource, only one (yes, one) teacher uses the space. An incredible resource left fallow and neglected by most of the staff. How can this happen? What went wrong? Why aren’t they using it?