Friends School of Minnesota’s grounds have been nominated again for a Blooming St. Paul Award! Last year, we won a bronze Blooming Saint Paul Award for our rain gardens and “exemplary landscaping project or practice that demonstrates storm water runoff reduction, pollution prevention or water reuse.” We look forward to hearing the results of this year’s awards!

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“The Blooming Saint Paul Awards is a collaborative initiative of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, the Saint Paul Garden Club, and the Ramsey County Master Gardeners. The program is presented by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and the Capitol Region Watershed District.

Recognizing public gardens and artworks across the city, the Blooming Saint Paul Awards showcase the dedication of many residents beautifying their local communities. Any garden, or public art piece, located within city limits can be nominated for an award in five different categories. Each category recognizes the top three nominations with Golden Bloom, Silver Bloom, and Bronze Bloom awards.” Blooming St. Paul Award

You can read more about last year’s award and FSM’s ongoing grounds project in last year’s post: FSM Wins Blooming Saint Paul Award (2014)

If you haven’t been by school lately, you are missing a spectacular summer show of native flowers. This summer has been paradise for plants. Right now, the beds along the gym are particularly lovely and swarming with pollinators.

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Purple coneflowers

 

Last week, volunteers spent an evening removing creeping bellflower, burdock, and other invasive plants. Non-native plants like these creeping bellflowers (below) can quickly take over and crowd out native flowers.

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Creeping bellflower (campanula rapunculoides) is pretty, but you really don’t want it in your garden. And you have to dig down to get the tubers too…or it will be back soon!

 

We loaded up Carolyn’s trailer with bags of invasive plants for disposal at St. Paul’s compost site. You need a very hot pile of compost to break down the seeds and prevent them spreading (so we didn’t want them in the school’s compost). Minneapolis and St. Paul’s yard waste collection sites take invasive plants and their compost systems deal with them effectively.

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If you enjoy gardening, join FSM’s volunteer gardening crew! It is a fun and satisfying way to spend time with native plants and fun people. I know I learned tons from Carolyn as we worked!

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Friends School of Minnesota’s grounds are more than just pretty flowers. They are our integral to our Quaker values and our environmental education program which “seeks to prepare students to become citizens and stewards of the earth.” Learn more about FSM environmental education on our website: www.fsmn.org.

Stop by and take a stroll through the grounds. We’d love to see you!

– Susan (FSM Communications & Outreach Director)