Sunflower Contest Has Almost 60 Participants

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 12.21.29 PM.png

June 14th is the last day to plant for the sunflower contest. So far we have 58 participants who have planted a seed and who will tend the plants all summer.

The person that grows the tallest sunflower and the person who grows the biggest flower head will each receive a prize. Plants will be measured in the fall. Details to follow.

Want to enter the contest?

Come to the garden Wednesday afternoon between 4 and 7 p.m. or Thursday from 8 to 11 a.m..

Hope to see you there, Natalie

Advertisements

Thank you, Sunflowers!

 

Sunflowerface

Our sunflowers worked hard for us all season.

They lured artists in from everywhere to paint, draw and take photographs.

The seed heads fed the pollinators and then the birds.  They were harvested for a wreath making class this Saturday at Suzanne Balet’s greenhouse on Nelson Avenue ext.

They were part of a grow the tallest sunflower contest. And the winning image was printed on children’s T-shirts.

Bouquets of cheerfulness were shared with volunteers and brought one person to happy tears.

But as of today the seedbeds, which had finished blooming, were removed and just the stalks remain. This was done on the west side of the garden to hold the soil in place when the winter winds blow.

Even now, they continue to give by helping us preserve the garden’s soils.

 

 

Sunflower Contest Results, Fairy Garden, and Art Show in the Gardens

 

Wondering who won the Grow the Tallest Sunflower Contest?

It was three-year-old Carter M. with a Mammoth sunflower the reached a height of 95 and one-quarter inches. Congratulations, Carter, who can be seen above wearing a striped shirt.

In the photos, you can also see the crowd that gathered as our tall Sunflower Judges Rich Torkelson and Barbara Glaser, both PMCF board members, went flower by flower precisely measuring each for height and for the largest sunflower head from petal tip to petal tip.

It was close and there were moments of tense anticipation, but Carter’s sunflower ended up winning by three and three-quarter inches.

The award for the largest sunflower head went to Kaitlyn W., whose 85-inch -tall sunflower had a bloom that measured 16 and three-eighths inches across from petal tip to petal tip.  She took her mammoth flower home with her. (See the photo above).

Both Carter and Kaitlyn won sunflower kites.

Thank you to all those that participated. It was a great turnout.

Fairy Village

Enchanting and charming are two good words to describe the 20 houses made by the Girl Scouts for the fairy village, which was tucked between a colorful border of cosmos and zinnias.

The girls, under the direction of Girl Scout badge coordinator Jess Clauser, created the houses using natural materials. Early Saturday they placed their houses in the fairy village and embellish the village by adding twigs, pebbles, acorn caps, moss, shells, log slices and more.

Some of the girl scouts earned the brownie outdoor art creator badge and the junior outdoor art explorer badge doing this project, which is one of several that they have completed in the Community Gardens this season.  Many more are planned including a Spring fairy garden with mini daffodils and tulips.

 

Art Show

Another project the Girl Scouts and other children from the community did this summer was draw and paint in the garden classes led by gardener Martel Catalano and Judy Brunner.

In August, young artists created paper sunflowers. On another Saturday, they went into the garden to decide what they would draw and paint.Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 6.55.42 PM

Some drew the flowers. Others focused on vegetables and still others did studies of the insects they found.

More than 30 paintings were created. And, for the art show the artworks were displayed clothesline style in front of the sunflowers.

The following painting of sunflowers by Girl Scout Mae Austin took first place and in addition to winning a medal, will be used on the Community Gardens greeting cards and T-shirt.  Congratulations to all three winners. Second place: Aurora Davis and Third Place: Lucy Ploss.

sunflower

 

 

Fairy Garden, Photo Exhibit and Art Show Today from 2 to 4 pm

Sun2There is a lot happening today at the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens, 223 West Avenue in Saratoga Springs.

Local photographer Tom Stock has an exhibit of Pitney Farm photos exhibited in the barn.  The Girl Scouts have created an extensive fairy village within a colorful border of flowers with little houses, pathways and treasures sure to delight.

And the children who experience the garden through art will have their art work on display in front of the sunflowers. Prizes will be awarded.

We will also have organically grown, dried sunflower heads that can be used to feed the birds or for flower arrangements and fall centerpieces on sale as a fundraiser for future events including a Spring fairy garden with mini-daffodils.  Treat your birds to this protein and mineral rich food and help support the gardens.

Contest

The Mammoth sunflowers grown as part of the Grow the Tallest Sunflower Contest will be measured and prizes award. That happens at 2:15 this afternoon.

Come join the fun today from 2 to 4 in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens and see what has been accomplished the first season.

I hope to see you in the garden.

Natalie Walsh, Garden Director

 

Egyptian Walking Onions

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 3.44.53 AMA Vermont community gardener shared a handful of Egyptian Walking Onions with me when I was in his garden plot recently. I added them to our community herb garden yesterday.

Do you know this plant?

The scientific name is “allium proliferum” which gives you a hint about their nature.  As the name suggests, they are prolific. Next season and for as long as we grow them, community gardeners will have these mild flavored little onions to add to meals.

Walking Onions are a top setting onion and hardy, emerging in the spring often through snow.  The leaves are a bluish-green, hollow and grow about 3 feet tall.  After the first year, a cluster of bulblets will form at the top of a leaf stalk as the summer progresses.

When the bulblets mature, they become heavy and bend the leaves to the ground where the bulblets take root. That’s how they get the name walking onion. If left to their own devices, they will “walk” across the garden.

Fortunately, they have a good flavor and are easy to keep in check by harvesting the bulblets, which can be up to an inch in diameter. They are tiny but tasty.

Thanks to all the great help in the gardens yesterday, a lot was done in preparation for the photography, art and fairy houses exhibit this Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.

This Saturday at 2:15 the entires in the sunflower contest will be measured and a winner announced.

Hope to see you there.

 

Experiencing the Garden Through Art

Saturday’s art class led by Martel C. and Jess. C. was fabulous. About 20 young artists came together to draw and paint in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

screen-shot-2017-08-26-at-3-45-25-pm.png

The day began with Martel C., an artist and gardener, showing young artists how to use watercolor pencils to complete their drawings of flowers, vegetables and insects in the community gardens.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 3.45.13 PM

This young artist is working diligently on her garden image.  The artists walked through the garden and decided what they would draw and paint. Some chose sunflowers, others did detailed images of tomato plants and still others focused on the border of cosmos or the insects they found.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 3.44.55 PM

These two young artists are comparing notes . They were very interested in identifying the plants they were drawing.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 3.44.30 PM.png

Jess C. showing girl scouts participants various techniques and materials that they can use to create art including sponges, string and even celery stalks.

The art they created will be shown on Sept. 16 in an art show at the community gardens.

We hope you will come and see them.  The show will run from 2 to 4 p.m. and refreshments will be served.

In addition, the winner of the Who Can Grow the Tallest Sunflower will be announced and prizes for the art show and contest will be awarded.

Thank you to all the “helpers” on hand. I couldn’t have done this without you.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 4.07.34 PM.png

This image gives a new meaning to the saying that someone has a “green thumb.”   🙂

Hope to see you in the garden. Natalie

Volunteers Make it Happen!

20170720_094607.jpg

It’s only noon, but in the last three hours so much has happened.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 12.52.47 PM

The area was graded so it won’t flood. Gravel was leveled and stone dust put in place.

The Navy volunteers came, nine strong helpful people, and they put down gravel and stone dust for us, dug a trench for a water line, and removed stake fencing and plastic.

And it only took them a couple of hours!

These were heavy, hot jobs. They made it look effortless. Teamwork is a wonderful thing. Thank you all. And thank you to Leading Petty Officer Richard Keitz for sending them our way.

Also sincere appreciation to those volunteers who provided drinks, snacks and lunch. It was hot and humid out and having refreshments was very helpful indeed.

Saratoga Bridges

This morning Saratoga Bridges visited the garden. They are regular visitors and entered the “Grow the tallest Sunflower” contest. Today, they watered their entries and we walked around the garden. Some were willing to taste Ruby lettuce that was ready to be harvested even though they weren’t sure they would like “salad.” Some did.

Charming Mini Farm

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 12.53.13 PM

The fences are made from clothespins and popsicles stick. How creative!

Garden volunteer Judy Brunner made this dollhouse barn to the delight of everyone. You have to look at this.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 12.52.25 PM

Judy setting up her mini-farm for all to enjoy.

Judy, a retired Saratoga Springs teacher and artist, designed a mini farm with little animals, outbuildings and pasture. She remodeled a dollhouse into a barn and created silos. It is a work of art.

Parts that she couldn’t find, she made out of clay.  Little ducks sit on a pond, a flock of chickens wander a little pasture, there are horses, pigs, sheep and cows. And even a green tractor like the one on the farm.

Look at the fences. Recognize what they are made from? Clothespins and popsicles sticks. This is a wonderful addition to the garden for children to play with. And it wasn’t set up for more than 30 minutes before it was field tested by a boy, who said he liked it very much. And began to play.

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 12.54.36 PM

The first visitor trying out the new mini-farm play area.

I will next be in the garden on Saturday morning from 9 to 11. Come talk to me if you have a question.

If you are in the garden and I’m not there, please water the newly planted sunflower area. And the troughs, the cosmos in the back and the pumpkin patch all need lots of water. It’s been hot and dry this week and everything (and everybody) appreciates a tall, cool drink on a day like this.

Thank you all, Natalie