What’s Up in the Garden This Year? Seeds Everywhere!

This past Monday afternoon Julie and her 8, 9 and 10 year old students went outside with their garden helper, Jeanne Cahill, to take a look around the gardens in the school parking lot. Jeanne’s first question to the class was, “What do you notice plants doing now that summer is over and fall has begun?” The answer was not immediately obvious to everyone, but eventually someone came up with it. “Making seeds!” Sure enough, everywhere that flowers had been blooming earlier in the summer was something brown and dried out. Kids spread out across the garden and began to focus in on individual plants. It wasn’t so easy to tell the difference between a seed head and what was still a fresh flower on a fall-blooming plant. Once they got this figured out, the instructions were to remove a seed head from a plant. If you took one apart, a collection of seeds usually lay in the palm of your hands. Seeds from one type of plant looked surprisingly different from those of another kind. Eventually, everyone had collected at least one intact seed head, tucked it into a paper box and written the name of the plant on the box. To celebrate the end of this garden lesson, the children went back to their classroom and sliced up and ate a couple of cucumbers (another example of a seed head!) that they’d harvested from the parking lot garden. Delicious! – Marian Hazzard