This time of year my students are more rowdy than ever. They have Spring fever; they have test (ITBS) fever; and they have end-of-year fishing trip fever. This year I found a project to keep them occupied after the ITBS in the April 2008 issue of Mississippi Gardener (I know all of you get that one!) Hopefully the pictures here will demonstrate enough of what we did so if you want to do it, too, you can.
Here's my happy crew. You will need one of those with what they have in their hands. Also, you will need supplies. We had:
8 curved scalloped-topped cement garden edgers (red)
2 straight scalloped-topped cement garden edgers (red)
3 bags garden and bedding soil
1 flat bedding flowers (we had 36 begonias and one amaryllis)
First we set up our design, which was a fish, an ICHTHUS. The boys knew that we are all little fishes attached to our One Fish, Christ--or, as my oldest student said, "branches living from the larger Branch." After that I scribed the soil with a knife. You don't have to use a knife. Just use something to mark the outside of the dimensions. Then we dug into the soil.
This was so we could set the landscapers into the soil, not merely upon it. That way they'd be solid.
After that, we lined the area with weed fabric.
Here you can clearly see the outline of the ICHTHUS shape. We used the soil dug out from the middle to backfill around the pavers. That way they were stable from the outside. The garden soil we added kept them stable from the inside. We used only three bags of garden and bedding soil to fill our planter. It was even a bit too full!
Here is the final "product" and the proud crew. The amaryllis planted at the center was a gift one of the boys gave me two Christmases ago. It finally bloomed this year. It needed a larger space to grow properly, so we moved it to a new home. They did a great job, and not one dirt fight in all of it!