Devonshire’s Itty Bitty Garden in the City – Summer, 2014.

Welcome to the 2014 version of Devonshire’s Itty Bitty Garden in the City.  Below you will find a short summary of how to hook up the watering hoses.

Watering the garden

The hose tap is located at the front of the school between the primary yard and the front door of the school.


Take the hose that is hanging around the tap and coiled on the ground and pull it over to the corner of the primary yard fence.  There you will find the beginning of the hose that runs along the Breezehill fence to the corner of the primary yard and to the garden.  IMG_1903

Return to the tap and turn on the tap and switch the yellow valve into the down position. This will send water down to the nozzle located near the garden. The best time to water is in the morning. The water coming out of the tap is cold and will shock plants during the warmest time of the day.  The second best time to water is in the evening.IMG_1904

Here are some photos of students in our Itty Bitty Garden in the City.

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The herb spiral should also be weeded and planted. Have fun and be sure to harvest anything and everything that is ripe. Coming soon – a complete map of the garden.  Thanks for making our garden such a success! Enjoy!

The Last Week of August

The following is a summary of the last week in the Itty Bitty Garden in the City as written by the VanAmburg family:

We finished our week tending the Itty Bitty Garden last week and we had great timing!  It was a tomato bonanza.  The plants were so weighted down they needed to be tied up in many places – we did what we could but many of the plants were so intertwined we didn’t want to risk taking them apart.  It makes picking the ripe tomatoes a bit of a treasure hunt though – your students will need to look high, low and way in the middle to find all the ones that are left (and there will be many).  We weeded, we tied up, we watered, we picked a few beans, but mostly, we picked tomatoes, got rid of rotten ones, a picked some more.  

You’ll see from the picture with my purse that I was naively unprepared the first night – we filled my purse to overflowing, but the next night we knew better and filled a bag!  And then another a few days later…  We ate a lot, gave a bunch to neighbours (and some Devonshire families to share the love), and dropped some off in the office at school – I hope you got to enjoy some of the fruits of your labours.  Finally, a conversation with my son about how he likes ketchup but not tomatoes and the suggestion that if I could turn the tomatoes into ketchup he’d want to eat them more led to a new experiment in our house and seven jars of homemade ketchup! We’ll be thinking of the Itty Bitty Garden for months to come!

Thanks for the end of summer memories.

Lindy VanAmburg and family

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Week of Aug. 11th – 17th

Thanks to Sarah Sark and family for watching over the garden.  Looks like there’s a good harvest this year.  The tomatoes, peppers and herbs are doing well.  It’s been a great summer for the garden – no prolonged dry spells. Check out the pics.

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New additions to Devonshire’s garden

Thanks to Cathy Kim, we have some new additions to the front garden at the school.  They will be needing some water over the coming weeks. Below is her message.

Hi everyone,

I put some some new plants in bed nearest the school and am now leaving town. If any of you have free cycles, or know anyone else who has free cycles (or who will be at school watering the veg garden), it would be great if the new plants could also get some water.

Hope you are all enjoying the summer!

Week of July 28th

A big thank you goes out to soon to be grade 5 student Madeleine for all her hard work in the garden this past week.  Her comments can be found below. Look forward to hearing more stories.

It’s Madeleine Bhamjee. I’ve worked in the school garden for the past week. I watered the plants, I did some weeding, and I got to harvest some of the vegetables with my family (the tomatoes were the tastiest!). It was nice to get a chance to care for the plants over the summer. Thank you for letting my family work in the garden. Bye!

Madeleine Bhamjee

Week of July 14th

Thank you to the Sullivan-Smale family for sharing their experiences in the Itty Bitty Garden. I like how the garden has become a buffet for the Devonshire daycare. Below are their reflections.

Working in the garden

Working in the garden



This is a bit late but I did want to assure you that the garden was not forgotten!  If you can remember back it was a super hot week so the garden was very happy to get some watering.  The week did end with a lot of rain which made our job a bit easier.

We found the garden in great shape with very few weeds.  The peas were done as was the spinach, which had bolted.  We did find, and enjoy, one lonely radish which had escaped harvest until that point.

The highlight of the week was bringing all the daycare kids to the garden.  The one year old enjoyed the sand but the other four, as you can see from the picture, we’re very keen helpers.  They “ate like bunnies” tasting lettuce, spinach, green beans and about 7 cherry tomatoes.  We also had a scavenger hunt for the kale and learnt how to tell the difference between kale, lettuce and Swiss chard.

Thanks for the opportunity to garden in the city!  Enjoy the tomato harvest…it’s going to be huge!

The Sullivan-Smale family

Week 1 of 2013’s Itty Bitty Garden in the City

A BIG THANK YOU goes out to Joan Hatch and her children Claire and Thomas for their work in the garden over the last week. Here is a brief summary of their adventures.

“The weeds were not too bad, but the beds were dry, particularly by today.  The lettuces continue to do well; we took some home and enjoyed them!  One of the peas had a couple of pods – we took one and shared the 6 little peas inside. We noticed the first shoots in the barrels with the potatoes when we were there today.”

The following is a slide-show of last week’s fun in the garden:

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Garden Update – July 29th to Aug. 4th

Below is the latest from the Itty Bitty Garden thanks to Alexandre, Michelle and Jean-Paul.  Thanks so much for keeping our garden green during this last very hot week. They will send pictures later and I will add them in.
This is Alexandre Lemieux and his mom Michelle writing to let you know we have been over tending the itty bitty garden this week. Boy has it been hot! when we started Sunday (July 29th) you could really see the little plants have been suffering  with the hot dry conditions especially the tomatoes so we gave them an extra long drink that day..luckily the one good long rain this week also seemed to help and by the end of the week things were looking much better – we have harvested some of the Swiss Chard and celery and Alex is always happy to test taste a few herbs on the trips!
Unfortunately our camera went kaput on us when we brought it so I don’t have actual photos to share. But we will try to go back and add a few plants to the one container on the right that is looking very empty right now (I am guessing all the plants were harvested already) and snap a few shots then.
Speaking of herbs, Alex loves basil and asked me to share tips on making fresh pesto which we do every summer once the basil plants are ready from our garden. He asked for the recipe but the truth is we make it so often now that we don’t really follow a recipe but blend the 5 ingredients (basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, crushed garlic, crushed pine nuts and parmesan cheese) and taste test until we find the right balance. So instead I wanted to send the following tip: the key to the best pesto is to grow the basil so that the leaves take the fragrance instead of the flowers – one can nip the flower buds as they appear to extend the growth of the leaves – and pick the basil when the leaves are full, fragrant and not turning down. Use only the best leaves for pesto, leaving all the  rest and stems to the side. And after washing let the basil leaves dry before blending them with the olive oil to ensure the leaves soak up the olive oil and not water.
There you go – hope everyone enjoys the garden over August!