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Archive for November, 2013

Bulb Planting

It’s hard to have an outside garden lesson in November, but we lucked out with brisk sunshine for bulb-planting day.  A lot of prep-work went into this lesson, including several days of dirt-delivery, and shrub pruning, but the site was finally ready.  We were lucky to obtain a donation of over 500 Narcissus and Tulip bulbs from the Hardy Plant Society of Washington, and used some of the unique ones for a display during the lesson.  These will go into our first “Bulb Museum” so the kids can see the differences all together.

Bulb Display Box

Bulb Display Box

We started the lesson with a potato from last month’s lesson, and described that the plant stored its energy in a tuber.  We then held up an onion and compared the bulb to the tuber.  We sliced them open so the kids could see the rings when cut horizontally, and the newly growing stem when we cut it vertically.   It was delightful when Ms. Burke’s class jumped up and used body language to model Horizontal and Vertical!

Horizontal

Horizontal

Vertical

Vertical

We then compared it to a Tuberous Root (using the strange, spidery Eremurus root).  Some kids drew what they saw:

Eremurus x Isabellinus Ruiter Hybrid

Eremurus x Isabellinus Ruiter Hybrid

 

drawings

Other kids made some stamp-art with the cut onions:

Onion stamping!

Onion stamping!

And the last group planted the bulbs.  Then everyone switched so each kid got an opportunity to do everything.

PrepWork_IMG_12648

Marking out the bulb placement

Planting Bulbs

Planting Bulbs

Getting Crowded

Getting Crowded

We were even helped out by some 5th graders who constructed and painted some “No Feet” signs to remind everyone not to stomp on the sleeping flowers.

Construction Helpers

Construction Helpers

I can’t wait to see what all of the different bulbs will look like next spring.  Here’s what Tulipa ‘Zurel’ will look like!

Tulipa 'Zurel'

Tulipa ‘Zurel’

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