When you just can’t say no…

I’ll be posting about the home garden this year tomorrow. I have to take some photos tonight. But in the  meantime, I’ve got another project I’ve taken on at work.

For seven years I’ve worked in this building, and there’s been this huge, concrete barren courtyard in the middle of the building. No one goes out there. There’s nothing to see if you wanted to. I’m the only one that used it, and that was to climb on the roof and do the Egg Drop every year.

There was an attempt made a one time to put a greenhouse out there. It was beautiful. The person who put it there didn’t properly secure it, and it was a twisted mess of metal after a bad summer storm. They replaced it with a wooden structure I’m still cursing. It was covered in corrugated plastic. This wouldn’t have been bad, but they didn’t do a great job, and the thing wasn’t water tight, had ventilation “windows” in the ceiling that no one could reach and didn’t fit right, so were constantly open, and therefore was only warm when it was hot outside, and as soon as the sun set, all the heat escaped.

So I decided to take it on as a project. Now, in my defense, I’m kind of miserable at work right now. There are a lot of reasons, but making that courtyard into a usable, green space has become my way of coping with things. I’m also conducting junk hydroponic experiments in one of my supply closets to use with my engineering class next year. Since I knew I couldn’t do the courtyard alone, I’m also now a co-sponsor of the “Go Green” club at the high school I work in. We’re a tiny group (I have 4 students) but they are into it, and that is fantastic.

The courtyard is a constant battle. We recovered the greenhouse after I begged the principal for the money to cover the cost of greenhouse plastic. Check. We got power put out there, but we had one business in our community donate to our cause. We’ve been working off the scraps from maintenance and staff to come up with our garden, and hoarding our 200 dollar budget for potting soil, topsoil, seeds, and possibly some paint to redo the picnic tables out there (taken from the smaller, second courtyard, where they were no longer wanted). We have plenty of rain barrels that didn’t sell from the Building Trades class last year, and the new instructor doesn’t want them (SCORE!). There’s the possibility of getting a water hookup out there over the summer – we’ll see. I’m not too worried, because we have all the rain barrels, and once we get them under the drain spouts, we should be okay. Still, it would be nice to have the backup.

We’re trying.

Here’s the school garden before photos:

As you can see, things were pretty bare, and pretty gross inside the greenhouse. We’ve been hobbled by all the snow, but we got a donation from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs of all kinds of beautiful bulbs, and they are coming up. The crocuses have begun to bloom, and we can’t wait to see the rest! In the meantime, I’ve found some pansies on sale at Lowe’s and got mums and pansies from a local nursery on super sale because they looked sad. I planted them and babied them, and they looked lovely during November.

Its still a work in progress, but here’s what we’ve got right now:


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