TPL Garden Projects 2015: Children’s Garden Updates

‘Tis the season at the TPL Gardens. We have a number of continuing and new projects available for volunteer input . If you see a project you’d like to work on, please email or contact the indicated contact person.

Children’s Garden Project

Garden Longshot (1)

The Children’s Gardens are ongoing opportunities to contribute volunteer energy through garden maintenance or creative expression: weeding or seeding. The children’s gardens consist of the Butterfly and Birdsong Garden, planted by  a local girl scout troop, the Rainbow  Perennial Garden, the Strawberry Spiral, and The HugelMound.  These gardens demonstrate techniques and approaches to gardening that are appropriate and engaging for families.


Butterfly and Birdsong Garden

Bonnie’s Labeling Project
After the obligatory expression of admiration for the Rainbow Garden, Master Gardener Bonnie McGlaughlin noted, “You really need to label the plants.”  That sounds like a job for a Master Gardener volunteer. To start with, using brightly painted stones, Bonnie will label plants that she has identified in the Rainbow Garden. But she has already had a request from Eli Arlen for labeling help for her project….


Tea garden site (center) flanked by the Strawberry Spiral (left) and the hugelmound (right).

Eli’s Tea Garden
Master Gardener Eli Arlen’s reaction to the TPL Gardens (post obligatory admiration) was, “There should be an edible component in the Children’s Garden.” In addition, to volunteering with the Edible Forest Garden project, Eli will be starting an Herbal Tea Garden (subject to change) next to last year’s hugelmound, a permaculture experiment we started last year that produced a harvest of patty pan squash for Mid Coast Hunger Prevention.

Strawberry Spiral
This was a fun project we tried last year as an example of planting upwards, rather than sideways. MG Volunteer Sue Ham’s brainchild, it’s a tower of strawberries. This year, it’s producing loads of strawberries, but now it needs some cosmetic maintenance, signage, and …eating.

Strawberry spiral, side view.


Strawberry spiral from above.


Future yum. I already ate the ripe one.










Patty pans in the hugelmound

HugelMound, part II
This is year two of the hugelmound. We’re open to suggestions for planting this year. Last year’s organic matter has had a year to decompose, and of all the beds in the garden, this one retains the most moisture. Some suggestions have been a pumpkin patch or a sunflower patch.

Volunteer Needs
To participate in these projects, post a message to There is plenty to do, from garden maintenance to garden bed design to workshop planning to sign-making and blog writing.

As an extension of the Topsham Public Library,  the gardens demonstrate and practice gardening techniques to entertain, educate, and enlighten the public. More than plants, the TPL Gardens cultivate community.