By Nicki, Youth Programs Developer, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
This weekend we celebrated Global Youth Service Day by planting kale and lettuce transplants that we started in the Children’s Garden greenhouse earlier this year. Our Service Learning Program volunteers helped us plant the vegetables in our newly established Youth Volunteer Display Garden. This garden consists of hollow log containers and straw bales and is located in the Children’s Garden near the Sand Play area.
The young volunteers chose straw bale container gardens because they work well for areas where planting may difficult, like around a tree with a massive root system. They also chose log planters as another resourceful way to reuse trees that have come down at the Garden. The soil we use in raised-beds comes from the Children’s Garden compost bins made from scraps from the Garden Café. And in a full circle, the straw bales and logs will eventually decompose we will use it as compost for a new Youth Display Garden for next year.
The Youth Volunteer Display Garden was designed and planted, and is maintained by our dedicated youth volunteers and is a collaborative effort from all of the various youth programs the Garden offers. In addition to the transplants, we also planted seeds and bulbs, along with a variety of native flowers, as well as fruits and vegetable that will come later in the year. We designed the garden with the intention of having a four-season (year-round) garden. This week we will add lemon balm and we will harvest it in late October in honor of Food Day.