Reading and Gardening Program for Children Starts Saturday

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That’s George W. hammering in the sign I made for the potato garden. Children who participate in the reading and garden activity program will be planting and growing potatoes, flowers and sunflowers at various times through the summer. They will also be learning about worms and the role of bees and butterflies in the garden.

If your children would like to listen to picture books about gardening and nature, come to the Saturday program.  The first session is this Saturday, June 9, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Natalie

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The Children’s Library House is Installed

Thank you Simon Ouderkirk for installing the children’s library house next to the Gardener’s Shed. Simon is one of our community gardeners and graciously offered to securely attach the little house to the shed.

It looks terrific. And, it is just the right height for children to access. Perfect.

Thank you also to Anne Curtin for donating the house and to Heather VonAllmen for the whimsical painting.

While I was there this afternoon, I put about a dozen books inside for children to enjoy.

Speaking of books, this Saturday is the first day of our Sunflower Reading and Gardening activities for children.  Faye Mihuta will read books starting at 9:30 and Jess Clauser will lead an art or gardening program beginning at 10 a.m. There is no charge for the reading program. For the art program, a donation of $5 is suggested.

Let’s us know if you plan to attend.

Thank you, NatalieScreen Shot 2018-06-04 at 5.39.40 PM.png

Fairy Gathering a Huge Success

I left the gardens about an hour ago, but the smile on my face will likely last for days

What a wonderful day for the gardens.  We had about 125 fairies and friends of fairies participate in the fairy gathering at Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

Thank you to Susan Rivers, our fairy godmother, for her generous support of this event.

A big round of applause to Jess Clauser, our girl scout badge coordinator, who organized the fairy house decorating with over 30 scouts. The houses were delightful and many are still in the gardens for everyone to enjoy. I’m so fortunate to have someone of such extraordinary talent and such a kind heart in the gardens.
Thank you Charlotte. You are such a joy. Your willingness to lend a hand in so many ways is deeply appreciated.
Thank you Kim Fonda, one of the fairy village landscape architects, who worked along with Jess. You both did amazing work.  There were constant “ohhh and ahhs” by everyone as they walked along the border. Thank you for all you did from planting to planning and for selling T-shirts for the farm.
Thank you to Jan DeMeo for your help with the signs.
A big thank you to Judy B., who helped make pretzel fairy wands, decorated with a magical touch and made the treats table look enchanting. And, who with Sharon S. and Kathy R. from the Senior Center were hostesses at the treats tables. We served fairy water, cookies, enchanted eggs, pixie stix and these incredible cookies made by Heather V. that were admired by everyone. Look an the image of a fairy admiring one below. Her expression says it all.
Music for the Fairies
Thank you to Andy Roth for playing music with his guitar and harmonica for us.  Andy, the children loved it and one parent made a point of telling me how the music added to the “vibe of the day.”  So true. Thank you.
To Anne Curtin, our sunflower contest coordinator, for helping the children plant seeds for the sunflower contest.  She had many fairies lining up to plant to the delight of everyone.
And for our energetic fairies, Chris Marsh organized ball games in the field. It was a delight to see the fairies with their wings running after the ball. Siblings of fairies were out there too having fun.
What a day. I will treasure the memory. Thank you all. I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.
You make the community garden work. You made this a magical day.
And, I am grateful.
Natalie

Great Sunflower Wreath Making Class with Suzanne Balet-Haight

Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 1.56.40 PM Suzanne Balet-Haight taught a wreath making class in her greenhouse on Nelson Avenue Extension this morning using the sunflowers grown in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

It was great fun and each person’s wreath came out very different.  There were Adirondack style wreaths, country cottage wreaths, and even a very elegant wreath.

What did they all had in common? Sunflowers and lots of them.

Suzanne, an excellent teacher, showed everyone the proper way to attach the sunflowers using 22 gauge wire. She demonstrated making bows with grasses and how to secure different flowers she had on hand to the grapevine wreaths. Participants used marigolds, amaranths, Dallas blue grass, cedar, statice, sedums and more.

Lots of Fun and Beautiful, Too

She began by demonstrating how to make floral sprays to attach to the wreath.  Everyone in the class heard the same instructions, but the results were an individual as the participants.  A truly creative experience.Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 1.55.30 PM

Suzanne teaches floral decorating and wreath making throughout our area. She has taught classes on creating Christmas and hydrangea wreaths, and boxwood tree centerpieces.  If you’d like to try your hand at one, contact her through her website,  Balet Flowers and Greenhouse. She is a talented artist and knowledgeable teacher.

Also, a generous one.  The proceeds of the class today were donated to the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens to put towards the Spring fairy gardens the girl scouts are creating. Thank you, Suzanne for sharing your time and talents.

 

Fairy Fabulous: Fancy Dresses for a Night on the Town

Yesterday’s post was a fairy dress made from flower petals. It was a pretty weekday dress. Something a fairy might wear to go to class or shopping to pick up pixie dust.

But Pitney Meadows Community Gardens gardener, Jess C. took designing fairy frocks to a whole new level.  She made a couple of petal party dresses suitable for solstice gatherings or any event in Tír na nÓg, the land of fairies. The dresses are absolutely enchanting.

Try making one yourself. All you need is glue, a few pretty petals or leaves from the garden and an idea.  If you do make a fairy outfit, send me a photo. I’ll post it here.red fairyfrilly frock.jpg

Sunflower Art at Pitney Meadows

Screen Shot 2017-08-19 at 8.34.27 PM.pngNineteen people participated in the sunflower making art class Saturday morning at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

Working under the direction of Miss Judy and Miss Rose, the group sat at the picnic tables in the garden and made large paper sunflowers.

They also had the opportunity to play in the sunflower house, play with the miniature farm and enjoy being creative outdoors on a beautiful summer day.

Next week on Saturday, August 26th, there will be another free art class for children.  This time, the participants will paint and draw sunflowers and other elements of the garden under the guidance of artists Martel Catalano, Nancy Hicks and Jess Clauser.  Children 6 to 14 years old are welcome. If you are interested, registration is required. Contact Garden Director Natalie Walsh at natalie.walsh@pitneymeadows.org.

 

It’s All About Community

This morning, a group from Saratoga Bridges ACE program came by the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens to tend to their plot, which by the way is growing nicely.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 9.20.39 AM.pngTiny bean sprouts have started to poke their heads through the soil.

Saratoga Bridges is an organization that enables people with disabilities to live enriching lives.  After taking care of their raised bed, and watering the sunflowers, the group agreed to help harvest vegetables for the Franklin Community Center’s food pantry.

With brown grocery bags in hand, we went around the garden and harvested basil, which everyone smelled, and Swiss chard and kale, which some tasted.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 12.08.00 PM.pngIn total 7 bags were filled and went to the Franklin Community Center’s food program where each week people in need share in the free harvest.  Julie Slovic, Food Program Administrator with FCC, was pleased to pick up vegetables for her clientele who she said enjoyed having delicious, fresh produce. In addition to the harvest from the community gardens, yellows beans, herbs, chard and radishes were also donated by the farm.

In the next few days, arugula and lettuces will be planted in the now harvested spaces in the raised beds. And, when ready, share with the food pantry.

We also took a photo by the sunflowers.

They are glorious. If you want to see them or take a photo, come to the community gardens, which are located at 233 West Avenue in Saratoga Springs.  It’s a beautiful sight.Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 12.25.09 PM.png