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Latimer Garden

Outdoor Garden and Classroom

 

The Latimer Garden & Outdoor Classroom supports student learning across a variety of
subjects and it invites visitors to observe, experiment and connect with nature.

Classroom Use
Latimer is a STEAM-focused school that employs Project Based Learning (PBL) as a key
instruction method. We teach Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards through
in-depth project study (e.g. lifecycle of the monarch butterfly), helping students to learn in an
engaging, integrated manner. The Latimer Garden enhances PBL and other classroom lessons
with hands-on learning opportunities.

Open Garden Wednesdays
Wednesdays are Open Garden Day at the Latimer Garden! Parents are invited to learn about
gardening and to help with maintenance tasks after morning drop off. Students may explore
the garden during morning and lunch recesses. (We average 80 visits per day!) And families are
welcome to drop by after school for a visit:

• 8:15—10:30 a.m. Parents welcome!
• 9:30–10:30 a.m. Morning recesses (TK-8)
• Noon-12:45 p.m. Lunch recesses (TK-8)
• 12:50-1:15 p.m. Families welcome!

Student Garden Club
During the 2021/22 school year, Extended Day students met weekly to learn about gardening
and to work on projects at the Latimer Garden. Those students also transformed an
underutilized space near the school’s back entrance into a welcoming flower garden.

Latimer Green Team — Join Us!
Parents, students, teachers and other members of the Latimer Green Team meet monthly on
weekends to enjoy the Latimer Garden and assist with garden care and new projects. These
volunteers also help maintain other garden locations at Latimer School, including a pair of
raised succulent beds built in 2021 for an Eagle Scout project.
 
Join the Latimer Green Team email list by contacting [email protected]
Follow the Latimer Garden on Instagram at “latimergarden"
 
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What’s Growing at the Garden?
The Latimer Garden includes 13 raised beds, a variety of pots and containers, and in-ground
planting areas. We grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, succulents and perennials year round.
Students plant, harvest and taste cool season crops (e.g. peas, carrots, potatoes, leafy greens)
and warm season crops (e.g. tomatoes, peppers, beans, zucchini, cucumbers). They pick
blueberries and strawberries, compare plants in scented and tactile sensory beds, and
propagate succulents. Garden visitors help to water, weed, compost, deadhead flowers, and
collect seeds. They search for rolly pollies and worms, spot ladybugs and Monarch butterflies,
and learning about aphids and other garden pests.
 
Additional garden features include an outdoor classroom, compost system and worm compost
bin, educational signage, potted herb garden, succulent nursery, bean tunnel, garden mural,
and grey water demonstration system built by middle school students. Solar features, a bat
box and grafted fruit tree may be added during the 2022/23 school year.
 
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Lessons from the Garden
The Latimer Garden offers many learning opportunities, including basic gardening techniques
and a better understanding of where food comes from. Additional topics discussed are: parts
of a plant; healthy eating; the importance of pollinators; garden pests vs. beneficial insects;
food webs and ecosystems; wildlife habitat; water conservation; native and invasive species;
biodegradation and composting; soil health; microclimates and other ecological concepts.
Observing, hypothesizing and experimenting. Patiently, diligently caring for a living thing.
Persevering. Sharing. Respecting nature and taking pride in something grown. These are all
valuable lessons from the garden.
 
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Garden Supporters
The Latimer Garden & Outdoor Classroom is a collaborative effort involving parent, student and
community volunteers, teachers and administrators, and school district officials. The new
garden welcomed students back to campus in spring 2021. Many individuals and the following
organizations contributed toward the development of this valued school resource. Thank you!

• Latimer Home & School Club
• Moreland School District
• Santa Clara Valley Water District
• Whole Kids Foundation
• Moreland Education Foundation
• Big Creek Lumber
• Kellogg Garden Products
• Summer Winds Nursery in Campbell
• Love Apple Farms
• California Native Plant Society
• Ian Geddes Tree Care
• Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County
• Office of San Jose Vice Mayor Chappie Jones
• Oster Elementary School Garden
• Saratoga Elementary School Garden
• Life Lab