The Williamsburg Botanical Therapy Garden

imageThe new Therapy Garden is almost completed with structures and the raised beds are planted with herbs, vegetables and flowers. A tent and a couple of borrowed tables worked as a shelter from the sun; a place to fill the earth boxes; tools; picked vegetables; Observations and sharing lessons learned in the garden.

Many new structures are now in place at the Garden, just inside the old entrance gate.   Community groups and children are now using the butterfly-shaped raised bed, the benches, pergola, and wheelchair-accessible planting stand.  Photos are posted on the Facebook website.

The first Therapeutic Gardening program got underway with the James City County Master Gardeners and Capernaum. Ben Conner, leader of Capernaum, works with local exceptional Middle and High School students who have disabilities. Pictured above are David, Lauren, and Joanne Sheffield, JCC-W Master Gardener volunteer for the Therapeutic Gardening program. The activities included planting vegetables, herbs, sunflowers, gourds, and flowers in the raised beds and Earth Box containers. The students also weeded and fertilized with natural ingredients and watered everything before Mother Nature took over that duty. Prior to planting the veggies and companion plants, a "herb of the week" was introduced by a James City County-Williamsburg Master Gardener with an accompanying snack made with that herb. A lot of lessons were learned in the gardening sessions by our successes or lack thereof! Several varieties of tomatoes, carrots, radishes and beets, sweet potatoes, eggplants, and squash were planted over several weeks so students could observe their growth. A three sisters garden was prepared by Clare Britcher — the corn and squash are growing beautifully but the beans didn’t germinate, so scarlet runner beans have replaced them. We planted lots of tomato plants but half were devoured by the tomato hornworm. Sunflowers were planted to make some shade for the vegetables, herbs and flowers and one sunflower has grown to 12 feet!!

A lot of lessons were learned in the gardening sessions by our successes or lack thereof!  Several varieties of tomatoes, carrots, radishes and beets, sweet potatoes, eggplants, and squash were planted over several weeks so students could observe their growth.  A three sisters garden was prepared by Clare Britcher and the corn and squash are growing beautifully but the beans didn’t germinate so scarlet runner beans have replaced them. We planted lots of tomatoes plants but half were devoured by the tomato hornworm.  Sunflowers were planted to make some shade for the vegetables, herbs and flowers and one sunflower has grown to 12 feet!!

There are containers with water lilies, Mint, Lizards’ Tail, Irises, Pickerel, and Colocasia which were donated by Linda Eagen, Jordan Westenhaver, and Al Davidoff. I consulted with Donna Ware regarding native vining plants for the pergola and on her recommendations, Carolyn Will donated a Climbing Hydrangea and native Wisteria and they are now happily entwining themselves.

Ralph Will planted and made the paths surrounding this area which leads from the wetlands to the Therapy Garden. The planted gourds are growing to teach students how to make bird houses and decorative pieces which will be offered for sale in 2012.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s