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Linda Chalker-Scott Our Lady of the Lake (2003)

”Our Lady of the Lake” South Entrance Landscape Renovation

A project led by UW students in EHUF 482: Field Practicum in Plant Selection and Management (Spring 2003)

This quarter, we worked at Our Lady of the Lake School in an area near the school’s south entrance. Our class worked from a management plan created in Fall 2002 by students in EHUF 480 and the Our Lady community. The designers’ mission statement was “to create an interactive learning garden for children as well as create a sustainable, beautiful landscape for the enjoyment of the school and church community”. To achieve this goal, the plan incorporates a children’s garden for use by the school’s classes, seating, a revitalized school entry, and wildlife habitat.

Before renovation, the site consisted of a large patch of asphalt surrounded by the school, gym, and the former site of the “little toy” play area. The asphalt, especially when combined with the southern exposure, creates a heat island effect, leaving the site hot, sunny, and dry. Underneath the asphalt, the soil is a sandy loam. To provide planting space, the plan calls for removing some of the asphalt as well as creating raised beds and benches with planting space behind the seats. Drought-tolerant, sun loving, low maintenance plants were chosen for this site. The educational bed was planted primarily with annuals for the summer, so that the students can choose their own planting schemes next fall. When completed, the benches will incorporate student-created tiles to give the children a sense of ownership and allow them to participate in the design and renovation process.

Below are pictures from our weekly work parties. Click on any image to see a larger version.


We would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their assistance with this project. We couldn’t have done it without you!

  • Bob Lilly, Northwest Perennial Alliance/Bellevue Botanical Gardens
    Donation of plant materials
  • Riz Reyes, RHR Garden Plants and Exotics
    Donation of plant materials
  • Swanson’s Nursery
    Discounted plant materials
  • The staff and families at Our Lady of the Lake

Image Gallery