Phenological Garden Project

Ashland High School
Horticulture Department
1440 King Road
Ashland, Ohio 44805 USA

A collection of Jpeg photos and Mpeg videos illustrating the creation of the AHS Phenological Garden in the autumn of 1999. Photos/videos posted here by Eric P. Mayer unless otherwise indicated.

The creation of this garden, from its design to its installation, was an exercise in Problem-Based Learning with two Landscape Design I classes. Eric P. Mayer was the Landscape Design and Hort I advisor/instructor.

Students from the AHS Hort I & II classes assisted during the installation phase of the project, with Dan Rueger the advisor/instructor of Hort II.

The garden contains plants carefully selected to demonstrate the science of phenology, the relationships between climate and periodic biological phenomena. The plantings show the progression of the growing season by the sequential flowering and fruiting of woody plants.

The objective of this project was to make the front entrance of Ashland High School more inviting to people/students. Larry Caffro, Principal of AHS, was the client for this problem-based learning project. Horticulture students played the role of a landscape design/construction firm. The project lasted the entire semester.

After the class interviewed Larry Caffro, the following design objectives were established for the project:

1. Increase the number and variety of flowering deciduous trees.
2. Increase the number and variety of evergreen plants.
3. Increase the number of deciduous trees with orange fall color.
4. Increase ground cover plantings.
5. Increase outdoor hard surface access in the Music Department area.
6. Increase the amount of colorful flowers and foliage.
7. Create a sound barrier in the Music Department area.
8. Create more shade in the Music Department area.
9. Make the front entrance look appealing from the street.
10. The design must look appealing in both summer and winter.
11. The design must be low maintenance.

In order to achieve these objectives, students developed a design that included the following elements:

1. A line planting of amalanchier.
2. The addition of two low earth mounds.
3. The addition of seven evergreen species/cultivars.
4. The addition of ten deciduous species of trees/shrubs.
5. The design of sidewalks and table seating areas.

Inspiration for the final planting design came from a mound planting at Ashland's Trinity Lutheran Church admired by AHS Music Instructor Neil Ebert. Elements of a mound planting seen by Eric Mayer in Central Park, New York City also served as a design model.

Guest speakers for the project:

Larry Caffro, Principal, Ashland High School (9/16).
Mike Rauscher, Groundskeeper, Ashland High School (9/27).
Nelson Bostic, Superintendent of Grounds, Ashland University (10/1).
Tom Kruse, Resource Conservation Instructor, AC-WH Career Center (10/5).
Neil Ebert, AHS Marching Band Director, guest speaker (10/8).
Bill Collins, Education Coordinator, Kingwood Center (10/12).
Ray Sevin, President, Ashland City Schools Board of Education (11/1)

Fieldtrips conducted during the project:

Edison Arboretum, Ashland, (10/13), 2nd period class and 3rd period class.
Ashland Cemetery, Ashland, (10/13), 3rd period class.
Kingwood Center, Mansfield, (10/15) group photo.
Cleveland, (10/19), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland Museum of Art, Mayer's "Oil Can Church", and Cleveland Botanical Garden's Children's Garden, formal herb, Japanese Garden.

Photo Archives from the field trips:

15 October, Kingwood Center Field Trip
Landscape Design students, group shot.
Hort II students
Floral Design students, the "Flora Dories".
"Sugar Tymes" crabapple line planting.
"Sugar Tymes" crabapple fruit.
Steps in the Terrace Garden.
Split step design with water garden focal point.
Guinea fowl roam the Terrace Garden.
French knot herb garden design.
Mark feeds a pigeon.
Keith feeds a pigeon.
Students and the Sunken Garden.
Castor beans and tropical grass planting.
Teak bench setting #1.
Teak bench setting #2.
Mark, Val and Andy with Sweetbay Magnolia planting.
The Smasher.
Star Magnolia specimen.
Sweetbay Magnolia and Amelanchier planting.
Oak Leaf Hydrangea specimen.
Chinese Dogwood specimens.
Val is up.

19 October
Mayer's never-duplicated Field Trip to Cleveland, Ohio including Jacob's Field, The Flats, Cleveland Browns Stadium, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
Ginkgo line planting at Jacob's Field.
Students at the Rock Hall of Fame.
More students at the Rock Hall entrance Plaza.
Line plantings of trees, Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Students at Cleveland Museum of Art.
Matt and the Children's Garden treehouse.
Brandon in the Children's Garden.
Tree plantings at the art museum.
Heidi and Jack, landscape entrance to art museum.
Mayer's favorite, the "Oil-Can" church on University Circle.
The Thinker and the students.
Children's Garden at Cleveland Botanical Garden.
Oriental-style pond and bridges in Children's Garden.
Tree House in the Children's Garden.
Garden gate in the Children's Garden.
Interactive water fountain in the Children's Garden.
Human sundial in the Children's Garden.
Luther Burbank's quote states the garden theme.
Water basin in the Zen Garden.
A fine mounded mass planting, Cleveland Botanical Garden.
French knot in the herb garden.

Jpeg images of the garden project, start to finish, are posted below:
Brandon, Matt and Drew measure pin oak tree.
Brandon and Drew measure crabapple tree.
Puster records tree measurement data.
Digging in the nursery, 2nd period.
Ryan, "What a Hort student looks like," according to Val.
Scott, normal position.
Val supervises work.
Don't mess with Keith.
Val and Scott and a wheelbarrow.
Group shot, 3rd period.
Andy, designated earing.
Amazing, but Andy does work.
Teamwork, 3rd period.
Mark, designated wheelbarrow-filler.
Karen, class timekeeper.
Roseann, designated pop-drinker.
Ky, designated pick-ax swinger.
Andy and Jeremy, filling nursery row holes.
Val, Keith and Ryan with white cedar.
Val, lookin' like a Hort student.
Jon and Ernie with white cedar.
Scott, Andrew and Eric with white cedar.
Luke, Josh, Travis, John and James with white cedar.
Jeremy, Roseann and Andy with white cedar.
Brad, Chris and Ky with white cedar.
Eric, Brandon and Jordan with white cedar.
Brandon and Brian dig Douglas Fir.
Mike Rauscher and Landscape Design students.
Nelson Bostic, Ashland University Superintendent of Grounds, guest speaker.
Nelson shares plant selection ideas with Landscape class.
Tom Kruse, guest speaker in Landscape Design.
Bill Collins, Education Coordinator, Kingwood Center.
Chris hugs a white cedar. by Jordan.
Puster and students pop white cedar from nursery site. by Chris
Keith and Ryan with white cedar ready for planting site.
Coach Eichhorn directs work on the baseball field.
Landscape students loading trees in the nursery.
Chris with a cedar at the planting site.
Burlap stretched under the rootball of a tree.
A line of newly dug cedars at the planting site.
Jordan and Luke in the nursery. by Horrie.
Val tries to learn about pinning burlap. by Horrie.
Luke and Drew, dueling golf cars. by Horrie.
Ray Sevin guest speaker in Landscape Design.
Drew and Brandon plant white cedar.
Students work on white cedar line planting.
Students mulch the cedar planting.
Chris and Andy ready for any challenge.
Students with "string model" of the proposed earth mounds.
Students with the other "string model" mound.
Mayer's favorite classroom.
Karen, Mayer and Andy, Landscape Design.
The quintessential Matt.
Mayer, teaching at the computer, by Andy.
Trinity Lutheran landscape, shot #1.
Trinity Lutheran landscape, shot #2.
Trinity Lutheran landscape, shot #3.
Val and the bulldozer.
Chris and Matt check out the bulldozer, by Mark.
Steve, quality excavator in action, by Chris.
Soil dumped for the smaller mound.
Soil dumped for the larger mound.
Tyler and crew chip crabapple brush.
Andy and Ryan rake the larger mound.
Students visit Hobby's Nursery, by Jack.
Heidi and the Swiss stone pine.
Mayer teaching in his indoor classroom, by Matt.
Mayer teaching in his outdoor classroom, by Matt.
The quintessential Mark, by Matt.
Classic Hort Lab, Mark and Chris, by Matt.
Central Park, NYC, mound planting, side 1.
Central Park, NYC, mound planting, side 2.
Students load wheelborrows on a frosty morn.
Jon replaces soil in nursery holes.
Students plant Douglas Fir near bus loop.
Students unload nursery stock for project, 1.
Students unload nursery stock for project, 2.
Val and the magnolia, in memory of Heather Mills.
Student planting crew 2nd period.
Luke plants a Birdnest Spruce.
Student planting crew 3rd period.
Chris, Brandon and Eric planting nursery stock.
Jeremy and Andy with the Stone Pine, in memory of James Thomas.
Eric and Ky plant Oakleaf Hydrangea.
Matt plants a Mugo Pine.
The smaller mound.
The larger mound.
Mayer works with his students.
Students mulch the larger mound with woodchips.
View of mounds from lower cafeteria entrance.
View of mounds from above cafeteria entrance.
View of mounds from Dillon's office.
Students measure for placement of new landscape trees.
Mayer teaches Mark how to uses doughnut box to measure 45 deg.
Our students work in all kinds of weather.
Brad and Eric dig hole for Callery Pear tree.
Ky and Eric dig another hole for a new tree.
Andy works hard with his group.
New trees delivered for AHS landscape.
Students unload new trees for Edison Arboretum.
Jack prepares soil for backfilling tree planting.
Roger, Josh and Travis plant new Callery Pear tree.
Mayer solves another problem.

To read comments from the students who designed and planted the Phenological Garden, please click the names below:


Comments? Questions? Send them, just click HERE.

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