We work so hard at Armstrong growing specific plants which act as host and nectar plants for the lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly. We are so lucky here in North Texas to be on the migration path for the thousands of Monarch butterflies on their way to warmer climes in Mexico. We do our best to provide Texas Native plants like milkweed for the caterpillars to munch on, Turk’s cap, frostweed and Gregg’s Mist for butterflies to draw nectar from, thereby encouraging them to visit our particular corner of North Texas even more. We are proud to call Alice’s Garden an official Monarch way station as a result! It’s so exciting to see student and Dallas County Master Gardener efforts rewarded by our favorite, stunning black and orange visitors. Of course we are always happy to see other pollinators in our garden too – this fall we have seen lots of bees gathering pollen and other butterflies too like swallowtails and gulf fritillaries.
Cross Curriculum Pollination
We love to know that what we learn OUTSIDE in the garden ties in so well with what Armstrong students learn INSIDE the school. Second graders have been creating some gorgeous butterfly pictures in Art class which are currently brightening up the second grade staircases !
Annuals and perennials
We have some wonderful new landscaping beds at the front of the school after the construction over the summer – a perfect opportunity for students to beautify the front of the school and learn about the difference between annual and perennial plants whilst planting violas (“Johnny Jump Up” fall annuals) and dianthus (perennials).
Students always love learning about bulbs – it’s such a magical part of gardening. Investing a little hope and faith in a bulb that will sit in dark, dormant earth all winter but bring joy, color and new life come the spring – a real symbol of hope and a signal that the weather will be warming up soon. We planted lots of daffodil bulbs up at the front of the school which will give us a cheerful yellow display come February. Needless to say the children loved watching Ms. Jana Beth using her mean, clean drilling machine to dig holes deep enough for the bulbs.
Bee presentation for 4th graders creates a real buzz!
4th grade has been literally buzzing these past 2 weeks caused by a VERY special visitor to Alice’s Garden – Harold Wright and his wife Araceli Wright. The Wrights own and run local bee removal company Bee Safe
and both of them came to present to all 4th graders about the work they do with bees. The Wrights are a local family, 2 of their 5 sons were former Armstrong students! Harold talked about how important bees are to Alice’s Garden in terms of pollination to help our veggies grow so well. He showed us a miniature hive, a fresh honeycomb and answered bunch of questions that the students had about beekeeping in general, honey making, wax candles, wasp sting strength versus a bee sting, venom sacks, the life cycle of the queen bee and much much more. We can’t wait for him to come back! Thank you so much Harold and Araceli!