Educational Features

Special Features

Adding special features to the garden can increase the educational potential, as well as the aesthetic appeal, of the garden space. These components should highlight specific educational goals. For example, if seed saving is an educational goal, a portion of the garden could be dedicated to flowers that reseed easily or vegetables that are not meant to be consumed.



Creating a Classroom Space in the Garden

If we want students to spend time in the garden we need to create a space for them to gather. Seating spaces can be as simple as an arrangement of straw bales, or a more permanent structure like a table and benches. A table is important if you’ll be doing any kind of demonstration, like cutting up vegetables. It’s also nice to have a place to serve children snacks. But mostly we want students to feel welcomed in the garden whether it is just a quiet place to study, or an outside place for the English class to meet. 



Educational Signage

When children and visitors are walking through the garden, simple signage can help make it an educational visit. If there is beautiful okra or lush sweet potatoes growing, a handmade sign can inform and inspire. Signs can be as simple as a paint stirrer with the name of the plant written in marker, or more elaborate painted signs. Signs can be drawn on paper and laminated with sealed edges, then stapled to paint stir sticks or wired to tomato cages. Names of plants can be translated into several languages for another level of education. Scientific names can be added, and information on varieties, and whether the plant is an heirloom. All of this depends of who will use the garden and what curriculum tie-ins will be made and reinforced through signage. Without signage the garden may be beautiful but difficult to manage without a tour guide.