Thursday, May 21, 2009

Our "Take" on an Alphabet Garden

Project Garden Marker
This photo was taken February 17, 2009.

I'd taken wide-mouth jar lids, nailed a hole near a "top edge," spray painted both sides with white enamel paint (two coats on each side), and kept them handy until grandchildren visited.

While I waited their arrival, I took wire clothes hangers and made hanging stakes. The photo below shows a few of them. A person can create two stakes from one wire hanger.

These next two photos were taken April 22, 2009.

I created some of the markers ahead of time... just waiting for the day of their completion! :-)

Our Omaha grandchildren were here for Mother's Day, so we were able to finish some of our markers! Here are photos of the painterly progress. Using acrylic paints, they painted the backs of the markers and wrote their names with the same paint marker I used to create the front design. Our grandson is 5 1/2 years old, so he painted the letters and flowers on the front. Grandma (me) helped with a few other details.

(Yes, we also painted piggy banks!)

After they dried, we took them outdoors and sprayed them with a clear, weatherproof, acrylic finish. Soon they were ready for the raised bed gardens!

Oh, Yeah! Looks good!

Pushing them in takes a little effort!

Now, when our Michigan family gets here, they can help finish the job. :-) It'll wait for them!
By Shady and Company!


gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

They turned out great! I remember you mentioning them awhile ago. Your helpers did such nice work. What a fun memory for all of you, and they'll have fun looking for their alphabet when they visit again.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic idea. And to get the grand kids involved shows that you're not only very creative but equally patient and giving. (Never mind that I'm 48. I want a grandma like you!)

Anonymous said...

That is a really cute idea. A great way to get kids involved and outside.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a fun project for you and the children.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Catherine! Plus, we only did 6 markers... so there are more to be painted the next time! ;-)

Hi Grace! You could adopt me, that would be okay! You are my "baby sister's" age. I was 12 when she was born, so... :-)

Chad and Brandy, I didn't invent the concept, but my "take" on the idea is original - I think...

Lisa, Do you know any children that could use some "hands-on?" :-)

Gail said...

Now this is a clever idea for markers and encouraging children to be in the garden! I bet you were a fantastic teacher! gail

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Gail! Surely you know a child that might benefit from this in your garden, too?? (Sometimes I use the excuse of children to do what I want! ha!)

RainGardener said...

Great idea and they turned out so pretty. I saw on tv doing it on rocks so I did a bunch. Some kept the paint on through the winter and some didn't. Now I need to figure out why and which way to try again.

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Too clever !
Kids must love you !
I see you have the same wire and metal markers that I do.

Shady Gardener said...

RainGardener, Could your rocks be sprayed with a clear preservative spray??

Patsi, Ah, you just do anything for those grandchildren (and yourself!)!!
:-) I do need markers so I don't forget names! (Or it seems to help, anyway!)

Kathleen said...

Oh Shady Gardener, what a terrific project. These will bring you joy for many years and how cute are your little helpers?!!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

What a great idea! I love reusing materials and that looks like so much fun (for kids of all ages!). Where you your MI relatives live, by the way?

Phoenix C. said...

Wonderful! That's a project that could be done in schools too. Over here a lot of schools are creating their own gardens.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

What a clever idea! The kids must love visiting you and doing such neat projects! -Jackie

troutbirder said...

What a neat idea. I'm always planting "stuff" and can remember a year later what it's called.

Rosemary said...

Hi Shady,
What a great idea!
Will be using it.
Wonderful way to keep the grandchildren occupied and get them interested in gardening.
When the grandkids were younger I often did crafts with them...... something I think yours will remember fondly.......

Northern Shade said...

I love the pictures of your grandchildren having fun and concentrating so hard while making the markers, not to mention the proud looks afterwards.
Will you have to buy a new plant when you get to 'X', or do you have one in mind? :)

Amy said...

What a fantastic idea! I have a five year old who is alwas asking me in the garden "what's this called?" This would be a great reading tool. Thanks for the awesome idea!

Shady Gardener said...

Kathleen, It's a fun project! (My dad gave me more wire hangers this weekend!) ;-) I think my helpers are pretty cute, too!

Hi, Monica! Our son, daughter-in-law, and their family live in Mt. Pleasant. Looking forward to our visit!!

Phoenix, I don't have a patent on the idea, that's for sure! So, take the idea to your schools! :-)

Hi Ellie Mae. I hope that's the case... it's the intention! :-) Thanks for visiting.

troutbirder... is it age?? At any rate, labels help me a LOT! :-)

Rosemary, Oh! I'm so glad I could provide you with an idea for use with your grandchildren!! I'll look forward to seeing the results. :-)

Northern Shade, This is just so funny! I will definitely leave some letters for last... :-) Esp. since there's not a big rush on finishing the project. We don't get to have either family here OFTEN enough!!

Anonymous said...

The plant markers are a great project. I'm going to make some of these. I really like your site and the photo's are great. I'll return often. I think you might also enjoy my site as my Mum and I are always working in the garden. Of course that's if we're not traveling.