Thursday, May 28, 2020

Edible Bayscape at Seven Oaks Elementary School

Last fall I designed an Edible Bayscape for Seven Oaks Elementary School in Perry Hall, MD. Funded by Northrup Grumman, the project was sponsored by the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC), planned by school staff, and supported by the PTA and Baltimore County Public Schools. 

The site is an enclosed courtyard surrounded by six classrooms and the school library. A symmetrical design clearly distinguished pathways, which protect planting beds from tiny foot traffic. A perimeter border of Blue False Indigo encloses a variety of "outdoor rooms."

The canopy of a large Oak shelters an outdoor classroom. A magical spiral bed of native ground covers culminates at a sun dial. An ornamental bench is flanked by more native flowers that host beneficial insects. 3 cedar compost bins house decomposing leaves from the Oak tree. A circular herb garden compliments a modern sculpture, a memorial to a child who died. Raised linear beds, one for each grade accommodate vegetables

The Bayscape was installed in several work sessions by children, their parents, teachers, a local master gardner, volunteers from the neighboring senior center, and GVC interns. The site was cleared of weeds and grass, the soil loosened, leaf compost applied and the beds mulched. Wood chips define the pathways. F
all is a great time to plant, even though plants are going dormant. Roots become established during the winter, strengthening plants for their emergence in spring. 

This Bayscape will be maintained by children in the Seven Oak Elementary School's Garden Club, guided by a volunteer from the University of Maryland's Master Gardner program. 

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