Printer Friendly

Students help dress up Everett's streets with baskets and boxes.

Students help dress up Everett's streets with baskets and boxes

Growing flowering plants in hanging baskets and storefront beds is a charming way to dress up downtown streets. But the cost of plant material and labor makes this a luxury that many tightly budgeted Western cities can't afford. Here's one solution: in Everett, Washington, high school students grow annual flowers for their city's parks and downtown streets-- for school credit.

In 1984, Everett's parks and recreation department could no longer afford to staff its greenhouses in Forest Park. At the same time, Everett High School was attempting to establish a horticultural program but had no greenhouses. In 1986, the city funded renovation of the greenhouses and purchased a new boiler to heat them. Then the school district authorized Everett High to set up the program it wanted, with access to the city's greenhouses. One goal of the program: to provide annuals for the city--which before had contracted out flower growing at a cost of $6,000 a year.

Seed sowing in the greenhouses begins in January, starting annuals such as calceolaria, geraniums, impatiens, lobelia, nemesia, petunias, and verbena. Students are bused from school to the park for five classes a week; they learn to plant, maintain, and transplant the seedlings. Each student has bench space, and each keeps careful records of what he or she grows. An instructor is always on hand.

Come summer, the results of the students' labor are stunning; last May, 670 flower baskets went up on light poles. Beds and boxes in front of local business buildings were also filled with greenhouse-grown flowers.

Not only has this program of sowing and transplanting annuals been successful, but the students also work with the park staff, learning to design plantings for city park flower beds.

Photo: "We did it!' Students from Everett High admire their handiwork downtown: hanging and box planters tumbling with colorful impatiens, geraniums, and begonias

Photo: Growing plants from seed is part of horticulture classwork. Here, 4-inch pots of seedlings are ready to plant out
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Date:Feb 1, 1988
Previous Article:How to save your back and work in the garden.
Next Article:February garden shows, sales, demonstrations, symposiums.

Related Articles
After the proverbial pinch pot.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters