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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

Sunflower Contest Update

A total of twenty-six people registered for the Mammoth sunflower contest.

Mammoth sunflowers are large with cheerful yellow petals with a brown center. The flower blooms of this type of sunflower can be a foot across, and the plants can reach a height of 9 to 12 feet. To give children an idea of how tall that is, the ceiling in most homes is about 8 feet from the floor.

The little grey striped seeds we planted are now safely tucked into the soil and will germinate in 7 to 10 days. As you know, we planted two seeds in each hole. When the plants are about an inch tall, one of the seedlings should be snipped off at ground level to give the other plenty of space to grow.

Each time you visit the garden, give your sunflower a drink of water and maybe a few encouraging words. Don’t fertilize. We took care of that and in mid-summer we will invite you to the community gardens to feed your flower a low-nitrogen fertilizer. When you come,  you can enter the sunflower playhouse and feel free to walk inside the sunflower garden pathways.

In September we will measure to see which sunflower grew the tallest.  Maybe it will be yours.

Registration for the contest is now closed. Thank you all for joining in the fun.

 

 

 

Sunflower Contest

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 6.24.56 PM.pngSo far, seven young people have planted Mammoth sunflower seeds for our “Grow the Tallest Sunflower” contest.

If you would like to enter, come to the farm, 235 West Avenue, between 3 and 5 Thursday or Friday or from 9 to noon on Saturday and plant your seeds. There are free seeds for you to grow.

I hope to see you in the garden.

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Another Row in Place

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Four of the 24-inch high beds and two of the 4×8 raised beds were set in place today thanks to the hard work of Jim G., Bill, Kim, Jesse, George, Rich, Heather and yours truly.

Then just after four p.m, participants in the “Grow the Tallest Sunflower Contest” arrived and planted Mammoth Sunflower seeds.  Pictured below are Isabella and Kaitlin.

There’s still time to enter the contest.  The seeds, which are free, can be planted tomorrow between 3 and 5 p.m. Prizes for the tallest sunflower will be awarded in September.  Can you grow the tallest one?  Try and find out!

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