Friday, July 11, 2008

We Built This Garden on Rock and Roll!

Welcome to Girard Garden, our brand new GIGANTIC project that is being supported by Columbia Heights Shaw Collaborative, Horning Brothers, and Councilmember Jim Graham. Our new plot is right in the middle of Girard Playground, and we plan to develop it as a Childrens' Community Garden, with participants from the many schools and youth centers in the neighborhood. So far we are bringing kids in from CentroNia, YouthBuild, and Columbia Heights Youth Club. The plan is to have about 12 raised beds, an outdoor classroom, a composting area, rain barrels, and more! This past week we planted a flower bed in front with donated plants from Garden District, and moved in a massively awesome garden shed built by Russell Flench. When we say rock and roll, specifically we refer to the effort (and the gravel and dolly...hee hee) put into pushing this beast into the space! It took about an hour and a half, but it's in, and it's not going anywhere! This shed will be the home for our community toolbank, which all of the children will share.
Once the raised garden beds are built this next week, we will begin to fill them up with healthy soil amendments and rush to make the most of the rest of the growing season. We also have a lot of art and gardening projects planned to help beautify the space and the surrounding area near the playground. If you are interested in volunteering and becoming part of this gargantuan effort, please feel free to contact Lola or Rebecca at or

Monster Hibiscus at CentroNia

We have a few plants that astound me with their ability to make it through the weird DC winters, the extensive shade of most of our plots, as well as the wear and tear of being around tons of kids every day, and this hibiscus is number one!

Summertime, and the living is not so easy...but FUN!

We started our summer workshops on June 30th, and it has already been an every-day-whirlwind of activity. We have classes with kids at CentroNia, Harvard St. Pre-K Incentive, Girard Playground, Garrison Middle School, and soon, the Langley Park campus of CentroNia. We are making bilingual alphabet signs, harvesting herbs to make soaps and lotions, building a brand new GIGANTIC garden plot, composting, cooking, sweating, and learning. We are making new friends - this week YouthBuild will be coming in to help us build raised beds and an outdoor classroom at Girard; Garden District continues to generously pile Rebecca's truck with donated plants; and new classes will be starting this week with Columbia Heights Youth Club. There are plans coming up this summer to participate in a farmer's market throw a few parties at the gardens, and once those dates are known you will be invited to see the floral fun up close. In the meantime, enjoy some of these pics!