The Junior Gardener program is open to preschool and elementary school children who are the children or grandchildren of Garden Club members. This group has been dedicated to promoting educational projects that strive to teach children a love of gardening, an appreciation of nature's beauty, and the value and protection of our natural resources. The group setting provides a forum in which to teach children methods of cultivation and utilization of plants to enhance our quality of life, as well as the responsibility toward to the environment and civic beautification.
Activities for the coming year will include a floral arranging workshop, fall floral design project, a visit to Life Care Center of Acton for a Thanksgiving garden therapy session, two horticulture programs, personalized garden stepping stones, and bulb planting at the Acton Arboretum.
May 2007 - Civic Beautification
On Thursday, May 5, 2007, the Junior Gardeners with their parents and/or grandparents gathered for a workshop at the Acton Arboretum. The Junior Gardeners learned about summer-flowering bulbs and were instructed on the proper way to plant them. The skies were a perfect blue and the weather absolutely beautiful as the Junior Gardeners dug and planted "Spic and Span" gladioli and "Tahitian Sunrise" dahlias among the Arboretum's existing daylily collection.
March 2007 - Garden Design and Conservation
On Thursday, March 15, 2007, the Junior Gardeners met to create mosaic-style garden stepping stones. There were 11 Junior Gardeners and 5 Acton Garden Club members in attendance. During the workshop, the children learned about the art of mosaics and contrasted it to other art mediums such as drawing and painting. The group viewed photos of mosaic stepping stones and reviewed the many materials that can be used to create a mosaic effect. The AGC members discussed the importance of periodically stepping back from one's design during the workshop so that the children could view their designs from a distance - much the same as when the completed stone will be viewed several feet from the ground when placed in the garden.
Each Junior Gardener received a 12-inch diameter undecorated concrete stepping stone which was sealed with concrete sealer prior to the workshop. The children then proceeded to design their stepping stones by drawing directly on the stone and placing objects such as various colored flat marbles, sea glass, stained glass remnants, seashells, letter beads, etc., on the surface. Some children even brought their own special memento to place in the center of their stone. Once the gluing started, the children really showed their creativity and no two stones were alike! Since the design phase took some time, and the glue needed time to cure, it was decided that application of sanded grout would be done at a future workshop!
The project was followed by kid-friendly snacks and more conversation.
A special thank you to all those who donated supplies, including: china/pottery from Lorraine Plimpton, Mabel Grekula, Maureen Christmas, and Judy Shuppert; ceramic tile from Suzanne Fuller; pottery and stained glass from the Acton High School art department; and, mirror remnants from C&D Glass.
The pictures will begin in a moment
February 2007 - Horticulture - NE Spring Flower Show Entries
Acton Garden Club Jr. Gardner's entries in the 2007 NE Spring Flower Show March 17 -25, 2007
Collages using all natural dried plant materials
January 2007 - Horticulture
On Thursday, January 18, 2007, the Junior Gardener's with their parents and/or grandparents gathered for a workshop on spring bulb forcing. It was a popular workshop with 10 children and 5 Acton Garden Club members in attendance! The AGC members explained to the children about the lifecycle of a flower bulb, when and how to plant spring-flowering bulbs, and discussed some of the different methods employed to force a flower bulb. The children were then shown an example of paperwhite bulbs that had been started weeks ago and closely examined how it had developed roots and flower buds.
Each child then received a clear, "ivy-bowl" vase and was instructed on the proper use of oil-based, paint markers. The children then proceeded to hand paint their vases with their names and various artworks. Their concentration was amazing! The kids worked together sharing paint colors and ideas. Some vases displayed beautiful rainbows and flowers while others included art of the Patriot's logo, the state of Massachusetts and even Niagara Falls! The parents/grandparents pitched in when needed and might have even ended up with more paint on themselves than on the vases! Once the painting portion of the workshop was completed, the children then placed a cupful of river pebbles into their vases and selected a paperwhite narcissus bulb to nestle among the stones.
The project was followed by delicious snacks, conversation and warming by the fireplace! While the bulbs will eventually bloom and fade away, the kids have a uniquely-created vase that they can keep and use forever!
November 2006 - Visit to Life Care of Acton
On Wednesday, November 22, 2006, the Junior Gardener's gathered at the Life Care Center in Acton to bring some pre-Thanksgiving Day cheer to more than 30 of the center's residents. Each resident was given their own unique vase and a selection of fresh flowers and greens while the Junior Gardener's, along with their parents and/or grandparents, assisted the residents in creating beautiful floral arrangements to be placed in their rooms.
October 2006 - Fall Floral Design Workshop
On Thursday, October 19, 2006, the Junior Gardener's met for a fall floral design workshop incorporating small sugar pumpkins and fresh flowers in vibrant fall colors. Each child selected a pumpkin to use as the "vase" for their arrangement. Oasis was added to each hollowed-out pumpkin and the Acton Garden Club parents/grandparents took turns giving floral design tips to the children. As a group, we talked about different options for vases and how that when being creative "anything goes". The children decided whether they would create an arrangement to be viewed from all sides or one side and then diligently selected, trimmed, and inserted their greenery and flowers. Each child created their own unique floral arrangement to take home and share with their family. Tasty snacks and games of kickball and hide-and-seek completed the afternoon!
September 2006 - Preparing for the Flower Show and Floral Design
On Thursday, September 21, 2006, the Junior Gardener's met for their first gathering of the 2006-07 season. The meeting included a floral design workshop with a hands-on demonstration of fresh flower arranging. After the demonstration, each child created their own unique floral arrangement which they were able to take home and enjoy. In addition, the children were shown an example of a collage using dried flower materials and were given templates of drums and guitars to be used for the upcoming Acton Garden Club flower show.
Gardening with Young People
The Gardening with Young People program has been activated in rotation with the Junior Gardener program. Four times per year, different groups of young people from the Acton-Boxborough community are invited to participate in a hands-on educational project involving the following interests: horticulture, floral design, conservation, civic beautification and garden therapy. The Gardening with Young People committee provides assistance and funding, if necessary. In the past, the committee has worked with cub scouts, brownies, schools, and the Acton Memorial Library Children's department.
Although our Gardening with Young People program is currently inactive, we hope to renew this program in the near future.
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