The evolution our garden
TMA gardens started in 2010 with a sunny, flat piece of land, a couple old raised beds and the determination of a group of parents and staff to make a stimulating, enjoyable and educational environment for children.
The gardens in the playground outside the Maple and Cherry rooms were designed and planted first, followed by those outside the Oak and Birch rooms. Not too long after, the garden group took over responsibility of the areas in front of the classroom buildings making them more aesthetically pleasing.
The sidewalk area was planted to make the walk area between the two schools more cheerful. Gates were painted for fun, trellises and seats included for variety and function and plants, plants and more plants were added. The ZEN garden and toddler garden/playground were the last to be completed as each had somewhat different functions than the other areas.
In our fruit and vegetable garden we have plum trees, fig tree, pomegranate tree, newly planted apple trees, along with blueberry and mulberry bushes, strawberries, cilantro and spring onions.
No harmful pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers are used in our gardens. Weeds are hand pulled, not sprayed. Nutrients are replaced in the soil through use of compost and occasional organic fertilizers.
Watering is done primarily using collected rainwater and soaker hoses or with handheld hoses when necessary but always by the most efficient and environmentally friendly ways possible. Careful attention is paid to making sure that the only plants children come into contact with are safe.
Priority has been given to perennial native and edible plants with annuals and specialty plants adding a little extra color and fun.
Recently, we applied for and were granted acceptance into the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat Program. This program recognized schools and other natural areas that have been developed and protected with the interest of birds, insects and other animals in mind. These amazing areas are havens for native and migrating species and provide wonderful learning environments for all of us.