Learning Styles

IMG_0805Each student has a different learning style just like each garden has a different style.

At the Boston Pre Release Center Gardens we have many different areas to illustrate to the students the different styles and purposes of gardening.  We have fruit gardens including an apple tree,

IMG_0896raspberries, rhubarb and strawberries.


There is an herb garden IMG_0813with sages, oregano, cilantro, thyme, basil (actually there is no basil anymore but keep reading!) and chives.  There are annual vegetable gardensIMG_0890IMG_0922

and cutting gardens.IMG_0854

One style garden that we have also created is a formal garden. It is traditionally shaped in a diamond,


edged with a hedge, ours of nepeta,IMG_0850

and encloses roses, spring bulbs, dahlias and annual flowers.IMG_0846

It has been a rewarding garden to build and an exciting transformation each spring since the nepeta melts back to nothing in the winter as do the dahlias.  By mid May though, the hedge is a complete diamond of blue and the roses are leafed out and beginning to bud with dahlias beginning to appear.

The students too have different styles and ways of learning.  One man today followed me around asking me questions nonstop.  Another student wanted to know how to make bouquets, another man found a bunch of sprouting potatoes in the compost so he spent the class transplanting them.IMG_0901

Another student weeded with a hoe with such gusto and pride.  I did not have the heart to be mad when he accidentally dug up all the baby basil, woops.

I try to let the men melt into the garden doing what they seem to be called to do that morning.   From there we have informative exchanges about the garden and how it relates to their skill sets, interests and hence positive involvement in something healthy.