“Arlingwoman” is a local gardener who volunteers with Plot Against Hunger. She blogs about AFAC, the Central Library vegetable garden and Garden Talks at arlingwords.wordpress.com.
It isn’t something most people think much about unless it’s lacking or intrusive. I have been thinking about it lately because I often see people at the Central Library garden walking along reading the signs. Sometimes they go from the garden close to the building all along by the tennis court reading the signs and looking at the plants.
That’s part of an educational space, and I hadn’t thought much about it until I was talking with a neighbor about Plot Against Hunger and mentioned that the Library garden was part of our efforts.
She smiled and exclaimed “Oh that’s yours? I love the signs. It’s like reading a story.”
Our signage maven is Don Weber, of USDA. And he has, in fact, made a story of many of the signs. Earlier this year, a rabbit was eating the pole beans as they came up, causing many people to ask where the beans were.
Don added a sign “What’s with the Pole Beans?” explaining that the pesky lagomorph was eating them and that we were fencing to keep it out:
Signs also tell plant history and lore, such as that of the eggplant, member of the nightshade and native to south Asia.
In some cases, the signs tell when crops were planted, so people will know what they look like through various stages.
They also give information on type of crop and nutritional content. This way, when people see a new plant, they can identify it and learn how it is prepared.
And then there are crops people may be very familiar with, such as sweet potatoes, but not know what they look like when they are growing.
These are signs where you see people saying “Wow. I had no idea…”
Part of the purpose of the library garden is also to let people know what they can do in particular spaces—in Arlington, that’s mostly small. So we have labeled our square foot garden and our self watering containers from Rooftop Roots.
Someone interested in starting a garden could peruse the Library garden’s signs, then head into the Library for the right reference books to guide them. At least that’s one of our hopes.
We also hope that people simply enjoy the fact it’s there.
Read more on Arlingwords.com.
love the idea as making signs for my own garden at present so my children can read them as they wander around playing and look at them in the future (as I am on c treatment and want them to have them for the future for my kids to have} so looking for lots of ideas, have wise sayings done on old slates and lookng for more ideas, love the garden veg ones too but I cant zoom in on them on your page so cant really read them but great idea. I am always looking for signs that will be witty and wise and will give the kids a scense of comfort and education and wisdom and love, so that down the line, they will have some comfort walking around the garden and feel close to their mum, ages 7 , 10. Any more ideas would be great. I am trying to come up with ideas that will tell them the story of our life, happy memories, and hide them in different places so they can find them as they wander around the garden.
The Librarians says
That is a lovely idea for your children.
Our photos are borrowed from the original post by Arlingwoman, so if you go to her blog and click on the images, you will be able to read the full text.
We will also forward your question to the author, in case she has other ideas for your garden.