Our First Gardens for Grade School Grant Install

Allentuck landscaping employees planting a new raised flowerbed

Our First Gardens for Grade School Grant Installed at

East Silver Spring Elementary School

This past week Allentuck Landscaping Co. installed our first Gardens for Grade School Grants raised planter. If you recall, all elementary schools were invited to enter and have their communities vote for them on our Facebook page. The winner was East Silver Spring Elementary School. They requested that we install a butterfly garden and we were very happy to do so.

Our team constructed the cedar raised garden at our facility and transported it to the school. It was filled with organic soil that Allentuck Landscaping Co. produces from the composted leaves we remove from our customer’s properties. The plantings we chose focused on local native plants that would thrive and, obviously, attract butterflies. The plant list included species of Yarrow, Penstemon, Coreopsis, Carex and Heuchera.

The planter was installed in one of the two courtyard areas at East Silver Spring Elementary School. We were all very impressed with how much gardening was done in the courtyards. Clearly this was a school that enjoyed learning about gardening and the outdoors; the perfect environment for our Garden Grant.

With the raised garden installed, it was time to meet the 2nd graders. The grade was going to be divided into two groups with presentations to each. The students were ushered in and took their seats. They were extremely orderly and well behaved.

Jodie Hinman, our Landscape Architect, told the students about the newly installed garden and the materials used. She discussed what things plants need and what plants provide to us humans. Next she talked about the life cycle of butterflies and why they would be attracted to the plants we installed. Finally, she asked if the students had any questions.

This is when we got schooled!

Little did we know that the second grade had just recently finished a unit about butterflies.

“How will the butterflies find the flowers down here in the courtyard?”

“Won’t birds eat the butterflies?”

“What happens if the butterfly’s proboscis breaks off?”

“How do butterflies see behind themselves?”

Clearly we were out brained and out matched. Luckily, their teachers were there to save us, and that they did. In the end, not only did we get to teach the second graders about butterfly gardens, the taught us about butterflies!

The day ended with handing out seed packets to each student so they could plant their own flowers and attract butterflies.

Our next Gardens for Grade School Grants program will be next spring.

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