A Few Photos from the Idlewild Garden and Pond

I had a chance to poke around the Idlewild vegetable garden and the pond courtyard area and wanted to share some photos of all the wonderful things that are growing at our school, some edible, some very much the opposite. Many thanks go to Anne Phillips for leading our campus beautification committee. She spends many extra hours each week on top of her teaching duties to make our school look fantastic and to help the students learn more about plants and nature. And many thanks to all the parents who have put in thousands hours of hard work over the years to ensure that our children have a school that they can take pride in.

I am not sure, but I think that this Swiss chard plant is over a year old. We keep eating the leaves and it keeps coming back! While I was taking this picture, I chatted with some of the kids that were watching me and they all agreed it was a very pretty plant but they weren’t all convinced it would be tasty.

There are still a few banana peppers hiding behind their leaves!

I was lucky enough to get to enjoy one of our very own Idlewild eggplants this summer (FYI if you volunteer to water and weed over the break, you get first dibs on the produce) and it was delicious. The kids helped me find a few more eggplants and we speculated on why they are called eggplants when they don’t look like eggs!

There are just a few pods of okra left. The plant is much taller than I imagined an okra plant could ever grow. You know you are in a Southern school when one of the little girls asks you “How does the plant grow bread on itself?”

The zinnias are still in bloom. I am so grateful that even though our kids go to a school in the middle of the city, they still can experience nature where they learn and play.

When I went out to the pond courtyard, there was a big surprise! I found out that it is called a garden spider or writer spider and that they are quite harmless. If your children are interested in spiders, this Wikipedia article explains how the spider makes those very cool webs.

Close-up of the spider. It’s quite attractive as spiders go, I think, or maybe I’m just biased because it’s ours.

Thanks to some fathers and grandfathers, the pond and deck are looking very good. They not only worked on it on the last campus clean-up day, they also came back later that same week to finish applying weather-proofing to the wood. Another father came and cleaned out the filter and checked to make sure all the equipment and the structure was in good working order.

We are looking forward to making more improvements to this courtyard and making it a cozy, outdoor spot for learning as well as a retreat for the teachers when the weather is nice.

Miss Anne and Ms. Reed went to a butterfly workshop this summer and came back with this awesome butterfly habitat! The potted plants will be food for the butterflies when they hatch.

Our first chrysalis! I can’t wait to see what the butterfly will look like when it emerges.

Thanks again to all of the teachers and parents and other friends who have worked together to make our city campus a place where nature thrives!

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