Ashland High School
The Bell Garden Project 2007-08

How experiences in Landscape Design changes lives.

I learned teamwork and commitment while working on the Bell Garden project. I learned that everyone has a special ability spanning from strength to creativity. It is also important to respect everyone and how they work.

My favorite memory from the Bell Garden project was getting to see the bell house being raised in the garden by the Construction Tech students from the Career Center, and knowing that my family supplied the lumber and will always be apart of that project.

My experiences in Landscape Design this year have taught me far more then I would have ever imagined. Iíve learned all types of techniques to develop a successful landscape and vocabulary definitions to identify certain shrubs and trees. The Bell Garden project has possible been one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life that I have actually worked on and put time into and been able to see tangible results. It makes what Iíve done in Landscape Design this year worthwhile.

My favorite memory of the year was the very first day of class when Mayer asked us to write down every tree that we knew on a sheet of paper that was no bigger than maybe two inches square. Almost nobody had more than two or three trees, of which one of them was an apple tree on almost every list. Mayer pointed out that what they actually knew was an apple, and they probably wouldn't know an apple tree if they walked into on. Turned out to be true, too. But we learned over a hundred trees and shrubs, and how to use them, before Mayer was done with us.

My experience in Landscape 1 and 2 has tought me alot about culture, patience, team work, and endurance to finish the project. Landscape was my favorite class throughout my whole high school experience so far because it was easy to get along with all of the other students and the teacher, Mr. Mayer. Even though we all were trying to work hard at something, we could laugh and joke around and have a good time. It was also really relaxing to be working in a place people respected because there aren't very many of those places anymore. Sometimes a few of us would bring in hot dogs and pop or pretzels and just have a good time while taking a break from working in the garden. When it would rain or it was too cold to go outside we would work on the computer. Even though we were supposed to be working on vocabulary or the tools test. Mr. Mayer would let us take it easy and listen to music and worked hard the next day. Landscape has left the biggest impact on my life because I have learned more in one year than I have my entire life. I really respect this class from all of things it has tought me and I because of what I got out of it.

There are two things I remember the most about this class. One was Mayer was always saying "if your going to learn something and remember it the rest of your life, then you've got to do it over a million times, or at least until you get it." That has helped so much because I was the worst at remembering stuff but now, if I want to remember it enough, than I'm going to be willing to work real hard at remembering it. Thank you Mr. Mayer, all of your qoutes mean a lot to all of us. My most embarrasing but funny moment of this class was everyone was laughing at me becasue I couldn't push the wheel barrel to where it had to go. I pushed and pushed and then all of a sudden the wheel barrel started leaning to the side and I couldn't stop it from falling so the whole wheel barrel of gravel dumped out all over the side walk.

I learned in this class how to plant and replant shrubs and small trees while working on the Bell Garden by the Shinto gate. The first time our class did it we messed up the shrub and Mayer was a bit upset but after we had practice we were able to plant the burning bushes behind the fences that we put up. I was mainly the pack mule that pushed the wheel barrels up and down the hill. It was a great experience and I will always have great memories of this class and look back and smile at all the funny things Mayer said and did like always telling us ďthe beatings are about to beginĒ, its always a fun subject to bring up. I think this class should be a requirement to all students because it is never the same thing every day and you always learn something and have fun doing it.

My favorite memory was when Jeff got a brand new hooded sweat shirt and tried to walk down the hill when It was raining. He made one wrong step and slip all the way down the hill. His shirt went from white to brown instantly and to top it off when he stood up he slid again. It was ruined but we were able to laugh later.

Well, I learned bunches and bunches of things. :) I learned all the different principals of design. And different focalization points. Symmetric balance, and asymmetric balance, all that stuff.

My best memory of the Bell Garden project was going all the different designs with the I-Graffix program. And seeing what all we could come up with. Driving the golf car was fun, too.

I learned in this class how to be a leader. I thought that it was a great experience being a leader and finishing the work on the Bell Garden. I learned what some of the tools are and what they are used for. I feel that this is important later in life if you are working construction or working landscape designing. I was a great experience working with all the other students on the Bell Garden and I will never forget all the great moments that we all had. Thanks Mayer for everything and I appreciate what you taught me in this class. I'll be back next year.

My favorite memory of Landscape Design was when we worked on the Bell Garden early in the school year to now. I thought we had some good times when we cracked jokes and pulled pranks on some of the classmates. Itís always fun to joke around a little bit but when it came time to work it was exciting and we really were able to get things done. The greatest time was when we were on the bus coming form the I-X Center "Home and Garden Show" field trip, and Scott fell asleep and Jake drew on his face and Jesse taking pictures of it. Pretty funny.

This year I spent two semesters in Landscape Design 1 and 2. Coming into this class I didn't expect it to be like it was. I expected to be drawing out landscapes, but we learned there was much more to it than blue prints and planting location. We learned many different plant and tree types, and parts of the plants, vocabulary.

I would have to say that my favorite project in this class was without a doubt the Bell Garden. We all came up with different ideas of plants, and designs for the Bell Garden, so it wasn't just like we were taking orders, we were a big part of the project. In the end, parts of all our designs were used.

I have learned many things while working on the Bell Garden project. Coming into the class I thought it was more of the design work rather than doing the actuall construction work. But both of those things have to work together, I guess, if you're going to work in this field. I've learned more in this class than I have in any other. I learned the way you should take your time to designing. It will pay off in the end when you have everything planned out so you donít have to change your designs so much when it's installed. I've learned to work together more instead of just splitting up the work among a few people. I ended up wanting to make this my life career.

My best memory is watching the Contruction Tech Career Center students put the bell house up. It was the final stage of construction in the Bell Garden. It brought all what we have done all year all together. I have met some new friends. And gained many experiences.

In this past year I have been a part of the construction of the Bell Garden. I have had my part in it just like my other classmates. This project gave me a new way to look at things. I have strengthened my creative, leadership, and life skills. The beginning of the learning started in the fall. This was when we got to start where the students the year before left off. They designed and built the Shinto Gate. Some of the things I did during this time was rising and placing stepping stones. This part falls into the creative part of the learning I had. We got a chance to place the stepping stones were we thought they should go, and in what pattern. As the weather changed we moved inside and started using computer software that could help us visualize what the finish product would look like. This gave us freedom of our creativity. After the winter broke and the weather started to get better we moved back out side to finish the garden. This was the start of the most memorable part of the project.

Spring was when the project was finished. This gave a feeling of completion and accomplishment. Seeing the project of the stepping stones slipping though the garden and the bell house setting in the middle looking though the Shinto Gate also gave that feeling. We all had are part in a garden that will be a part of the school. I know that years from now when I walk down the back path of the school leading though the Wildlife Garden, memories will be coming back on how much hard work it was to accomplish the project.

Mr. Mayer has tought me a lot in his class. He is the best an coolest teacher that I know. I learned more then I thought I could about landscaping. He tought me to work hard and how to make the job look good. We did lots of things in this class an the biggest thing I have learned in landscape was to work heard an don't give up.

My best memory was when Mayer came up to me and asked if I could get a striker for the Bell Garden. I told him I could and then I got to thinking where I could get a log. After a couple of minutes I knew where I can get one. So one warm windy day I got on my bike and rode to jeromesville to a friends farm. It took me bout 45 minutes to get there from Ashland. Soon after I got my log I straped it to the side of my bike and headed back to Ashland High School. That ride took me almost an hour an half. My knees hurt bad when I rode up to the garage door at the school to drop off the log. After I did that I went home to rest and to call Mayer. He answered the phone and then I told him that the striker was at the school. He was excited to hear that. The next day I saw him him the halls, so I showed him how I got the log here. He looked at me like I was crazy. I later then got into his class, we talked bout what I did. So that's my best memory for Mr. Mayer's class.

Scroll down to see a picture of the log tied to Kyle's bike.

The striker log tied onto Kyle's Bike, peddled all the way from Jeromesville.

Jeff's iGrafx software design for the AHS Bell Garden.

Jeff and Joe compare design photo to actual garden.

How the oriental bell got up to the Bell House.

Students test setting the bamboo panels in the Bell Garden.

Setting of the last post for the bamboo panels.

Ian brings in donuts to celebrate our successes in the Bell Garden.

Soil brought in for the planting of the Golden Full Moon Maple.

Tiffany with the Golden Full Moon Maple, Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum',
planted in memory of Cherise Marie Mims.

LD-32 students with the Bell House the day the striker was installed.

Landscape Design II team photo.

Grant demonstrates the striking of the bell.

The AHS Horticulture Website.