Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sample Presentation

Carrie Hasse bravely volunteered to due her presentation early, in order to show her fellow WISE students what a presentation should look like.  Overall, she did an excellent job.

Carrie's presentation was unique in the fact that it used very little visuals.  She had no power point, or posters, or anything.  She did show us the book that she writes her poetry in.  But other than that, she only spoke to the crowd.  This is a very risky move because it is more likely that she would lose the attention of the audience.  But Carrie's tone, movement, eye contact, and other tactics really enabled her presentation to be stimulating without any visuals. 

Carrie also did an excellent job of referring to research, and personal experiences all in her one presentation.  Carrie really set the bar high for the level of presentations.  I learned a lot about how the evaluating and presenting process is set up.  I am eager to get started on mine.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quick Update

Here is a quick update of what I have been up to...

I generated a list of what I would like for donations from places.  I am going to have Ms.G write me up a little letter that I will present to the places that I am asking donations from. 

Still no response from the Children's Garden.  I got their number tonight online, and I am going to call them tomorrow.

I have most of my ideas for the garden sketched, but they are not very pretty...

Tomorrow is the WISE sample presentation at the school at 6!

Monday, May 23, 2011


I realized that I haven't had a blog post to just vent about my project...

Well, there are some little things.  Like my inability to draw is making my sketches for the garden look kinda crappy.
The bigger problem, though, is the Children's Garden.  I have all of my plans ready to go and I want to move along with the garden project.  I have sent the Children's Garden a few e-mails, but I haven't gotten a response.  I know they are busy.  I am very anxious to keep going though, and I don't want to wait around much longer!

Phew...I feel a little better now.

Class Day 5/23

Today in class we did a 10-15 minute write about what we know now that we didn't know in September.  After that we talked about upcoming events.  Our last class is next Tuesday! yikes. Sitting there in class, I realized how important it was to me to attend as many WISE students presentations as possible.  I want to be able to see what my fellow students are doing.  Because soon I will be off to college, and I won't be able to see these kids everyday!

So anyway...Mrs.G wanted us to blog our What I know now that I didn't know in September.  So here it is!

I know now that there are so many community classes to get involved in, garden related classes.  I'm not sure if this abundance of classes is only available in my topic, or if other topics such as pottery and photo also have classes in great numbers.  I now know the importance of focusing on one task rather than trying to handle many.  If I could put all of my energy and effort into one project- it would be amazing.  I have found during my WISE project that I have so many great ideas, but my other focuses such as school and clubs keep me from totally excelling in one area.  I also know now a lot of WISE projects depend on other people and sources, in order to be finished.  For example, right now the way my project is going is being dictated by the Ithaca Children's Garden.  I know how to compost!!! I know that my project could have very easily been to become a master composter.  I know the importance of community contacts.  These people can be great resources.  I know now that every single person has their own ideas and motives and goals that they want to achieve.  And to make your ideas and motives and goals crystal clear to others is a very difficult task that demands the use of many different forms of communication.  Pictures, speech, body language, examples, metaphors, eye contact; and sometimes even then your ideas are still vague to others.  Maybe as vague as my last few sentences...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Research- Musical Plants

The following research/list comes from the book The 400 Best Garden Plants by Elvin McDonald.

Here is a list of musical plants that I found from the book.  Once I pick the flowers that I want to use, I will do further research.
-Coral Bells
-Angel/Devil Trumpet
-Million Bells
-Viola Pansy
-Eustoma; Texas Bluebell
-Chilean Bellflower
-Carpet Bugle
-Coral Bells
-Blue Trumpet Vine
-English bluebell
-Spanish Bluebell
-Temple Bells
-Silver Bell

Music Garden Now

Here are some picture of the Music Garden in its current state...

When standing looking at the garden, this is the area to the right.  In the background in a fence, with the treble and bass clefs made out of vine.  The large hump is covered in weeds, and underneath it is a plastic tube made into a tunnel. From the fence to the edge of the garden (so in this picture- from the fence to us) is 27 ft.  From the hump to the edge is 14 ft.
This is the tunnel under the hump.  I'm not sure how this tied into the musical garden theme before...I think I should ask Leigh that. But anyway, the tunnel is 2 ft in diameter.  It is about 6 feet long (including the weeds on either side).
This is a close up of the fence with the treble and bass clef.  It is 4 ft high. and about 11 ft long.
This is the best shot I got of the whole garden.  There is a big U around the garden of wood chips.  There are a few tiny trees scattered around, I will have to ask Leigh how big they will get.  On the outer sides of the U are a few extras (on the right side of the U is the tunnel hump and the fence with the clefs).  The width of the wood chip U is roughly 13 ft. all around. Based on my definition of the garden boundaries, altogether it is 75-100 feet in length (from end to end longways).
This painted drum is in the center of the U wood chips.  It has a handle tied to it, and obviously makes a noise when hit.  From the edge of the garden to the drum is about 10ft.  And from the drum to the far end of the garden is about 10ft. From the drum to the sides of the garden is about 7ft.  And when I say the side edge of the garden, I mean to the where the grass ends and the wood chips begin.
Here is a close up of the painted drum!
This is the back end of the garden.  There is a rectangular frame at the very end.  It is 6 ft in height.  At the bottom of each side there is a plastic tube.  This tube is filled with stones and can be turned upside down to make a rain noise.  Past this frame is just a swampy area with grasses, that serves as sort of a barrier before the road.  You can't tell by the picture, but this part of the garden is downward sloping.
This area of the garden is on the left of the U shape.  It needs some definite work.  I will have to ask Leigh what it was originally... Right now it is a bunch of weeds, some long pieces of wood and some scrolls of violins.  In the right hand upper corner of the picture you can see a fence.  This is another fence with a treble clef.
This is a better picture of the left side of the U shape.  A few trees and another 4 ft fence with a treble clef on it.
This picture should be flipped, I'm sorry that I couldn't figure out how to make it right side up.  Anyway, it is 6 ft in height.  It is located on top of the wood chips, on the right side.  Hanging from the top are strings of wooden beads.  When you move these strings, they are suppose to make noise. But it barely does.

This garden needs a lot of work.  Here are some before pictures before I do my transformation!

Things I have done...

This week has been pretty successful following my plan!

I emailed David is a little piece of what he said:
"I'll have to give this some thought but what comes to mind for making into
an instrument would be some of the Bamboos for a flute. Some names could be Virginia Blue BELLS, Canterberry Bells, Carpathian Hairbells, Trumpet Vine (
a woody plant though), Bugleweed (Bronze Beauty) and Viola. If you look
through any books on perennials I'm sure there are more names you will see.
Just stop by Lowes or Home Depot and page through some of their books."

I also e-mail Leigh from the Children's Garden, and still waiting for a response back from her.

I took some picture and measurments of the Music Garden as it is now...I will post them shortly.

I also have brainstormed info for my research commentary and narrative.

Lastly I have done a sort of rough draft of my plan for the garden.  I did a rough draft of parts that I want to include in the garden, just not a full garden rough draft.  I have to put the pieces together.  I will posts those shortly too!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Today's update...
Beautification was cancelled for tonight.
I e-mailed David Mastroberti for some ideas for my Music Garden. 
I also got materials ready for my internship tomorrow. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Research- Gardening Zones


The USDA Hardiness Zone Map divides North America into 11 separate zones; each zone is 10°F warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone. If you see a hardiness zone in a catalog or plant description, chances are it refers to the USDA map.

What are Zone Maps?

Gardeners need a way to compare their garden climates with the climate where a plant is known to grow well. That's why climate zone maps were created. Zone maps are tools that show where various permanent landscape plants can adapt. If you want a shrub, perennial, or tree to survive and grow year after year, the plant must tolerate year-round conditions in your area, such as the lowest and highest temperatures and the amount and distribution of rainfall.

Great for the East

The USDA map does a fine job of delineating the garden climates of the eastern half of North America. That area is comparatively flat, so mapping is mostly a matter of drawing lines approximately parallel to the Gulf Coast every 120 miles or so as you move north. The lines tilt northeast as they approach the Eastern Seaboard. They also demarcate the special climates formed by the Great Lakes and by the Appalachian mountain ranges.

Zone Map Drawbacks

But this map has shortcomings. In the eastern half of the country, the USDA map doesn't account for the beneficial effect of a snow cover over perennial plants, the regularity or absence of freeze-thaw cycles, or soil drainage during cold periods. And in the rest of the country (west of the 100th meridian, which runs roughly through the middle of North and South Dakota and down through Texas west of Laredo), the USDA map fails.


Zone: 5a
Region: Mid-Atlantic

The Growing Season

Across the Mid Atlantic region, our average growing seasons range from the "blink and you'll miss it" 144 days (May to September) in Albany, NY to an eye popping 231 days (April to November) in Baltimore, MD. This makes for a spurt of gardening activity in spring to "get it all in" before the window of opportunity shuts. This is particularly a concern in mountainous areas and far northern areas where cold and shorter days often lead to shorter growing seasons. Trees, shrubs, and perennials grow well in this climate, especially in warmer areas that experience less severe weather extremes. All the traditional annual flower and vegetables can be grown here, with the only exceptions being season extending techniques that may be needed in northern areas for warm season crops such as melons and sweet potatoes. Drought and flooding can sometime be a concern with one following the other in some years.

Four Week Plan

There is still time to get everything done that I want to with WISE.  Four weeks left until the end of school.  Let's see what I can do.

Week 1 (May 16-22)
-Pick 1 or 2 research sources from my bibliography and do some research.  My research portion is lacking in areas other than community contacts.
-Design a rough draft of the Music Garden and present it to Mr.F on Wednesday at my internship.  Hopefully he will have some feedback
-Compile a list of info that I would like to put into my narrative/bibliography/research commentary.  Basically just some brainstorming for the written assignment
-E-mail David Mastrobertti about ideas for plants in the Music Garden
-If Leigh doesn't get back to me by Thursday, send her another e-mail

Week 2 (May 23-29)
-Pick 1 or 2 research source from my bibliography and do some more research!
-E-mail/call nurseries in Ithaca to get donations for my garden
-Finalize garden plan
-Write a rough draft of my narrative
-Attend WISE sample presentation at 6 on Thursday

Week 3 (May 31- June 5)
-Start planting in the Music Garden
-Write my bibliography and research commentary
-Begin ideas for how to do my presentation
-Finished copy of narrative, have Mr.C review it

Week 4 (June 6-12)
-Finalize presentation plans
-Continue gardening in the Music Garden
-Review Materials for peer evaluations

I think that if I follow this plan perfectly, adding things as I go along, I can finish everything that I want to do.  If you see my slacking- CALL ME OUT!

Class 5/16

How is it the 16th already? Wow...

In class today we confirmed our presentation slots (well...most of us).  I confirmed mine! Wednesday June 15th at 1:30 pm! Come stop by the school if you want to see it :)

We also signed up for peer evaluations.  I signed up for Jenny Lee's on June 13th at 11 am.  I picked hers because I am really interested in seeing her final photos!!
I also picked Marley's presentation on June 15th at 9 am.  I am really interested in seeing what jewelry she has created. 
The funny thing about what presentations I picked to evaluate are the same ones the Erin Hoover picked! So we will both be evaluating these presentations. 

Other things to keep in mind: Final write ups are due soon...The final written portion is due 5 work days before my presentation. Lets see, that makes it June 8th for me. WOW.  We got an e-mail about the details from Mrs.Gergely.  That write up includes the bibliography, narrative, and research commentary (yikes). 

This are crazy! Lots of work to get done! I do not want to be a procrastinator! A plan should be made....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

List- Nurseries in Ithaca

I need to start making some contacts and getting donations from local nurseries.  Here are some options, and their contact info:

**The Plantsman Nursery: (607) 533-7193
**Agway: (607) 273-2505
**Cayuga Landscape: (607) 257-3000
**Michaleen's Florist and Garden: (607) 257-3203
**Baker's Acres:  (607) 533-4653
**The Magic Garden: (607) 564-9055

Here is a link with a list of vendors from the plant sale.  If I need more contacts, this is a great resource!

Plant Sale- 5/14

Yesterday was the plant sale, sponsored by the Cornell cooperative extension. 
I went with my mom, and we browsed the selection.  There were a lot of great plants!  But I kept my eyes open for only plants with musical names.  Looking back, I wish I would have taken a close look at all of the other plants! Anyways... here is what I found:
The Magic Garden had a few plants with musical names that included the angel/devil trumpet, coral bells, and million bells.  Also, a lot of the nursery's had viola, (commonly known as violets or pansies). 
So now I know that there are some flowers out there that can be used.  But there still are some issues....

I saw Leigh from the Children's Garden there.  I reminded her about the e-mail I sent talking about dates and when I could get my design approved by the committee.  I also asked about a budget in the meeting.  Right now, there is no money for the Music Garden.  Crap... This means that I will see if there is another round of WISE grants, and if not I will have to ask for donations or raise my own money.  I will have to figure it out!  Leigh also said that this has been a busy week for the Children's Garden, so it is taking a while for her to get responses.  I am a little concerned right now.  I wanted things to be moving a bit faster than they are. 
I was doing some thinking, though, and WISE is a process.  I feel confident that I have done a lot in my process so far.  Of course I have high hopes for where I want to be by June 15th....but I have come to terms with the fact that if I do not accomplish this, I have done a lot to be proud of so far.  I want to keep going! (I still hope the Children's Garden will get in a higher gear with me! We will see)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Research- Sound instruments


This is a pebble chime instrument.  By dropping pebbles on the outside edge of this metal sheet, it makes a noise. 

I like the natural look to this music garden.  As you can see in the far back of the picture, there is a zylaphone type of an instrument.  I think I will be able to create something similar to this.

 Here is another music garden, with an orange thunder drum.  There is also different sized pipes in the background that give off different noises when struck.
I want to figure out a way to make a piano type landscape like seen in this picture.  I think it would be an interactive way for kids to walk through the garden...if there were piano key paths.

There is a lot of planning that needs to go into this garden.  I e-mailed Leigh from the childrens garden about details, and I am waiting to hear back from her.   But until then, I have been brainstorming what cheap items that I could use for noise props in the garden.  Empty trashcans could work for drums, and hollow pipes may be able to be transformed into a musical instrument.  Also, maybe I could find a plant or some sort of pebbles that would make noise when stepped on.  I want the garden to be interative for the kids, allowing them to use as many senses as possible.  More ideas to come!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Class Day 5/9 and Mentor Meeting

Ok after a week of slacking off for WISE, I'm ready to get back into the grove of things!

First matter of business:  WISE class today.
We discussed scheduling presentation dates.  Then we signed up for presentation dates.  Surprisingly, this took all period.  And as of right now my presentation date will be.....drum roll........JUNE 15TH @ 1:30!!!

Can I finish everything by then? Well, that's the plan!

Today in class Ms.Gergely also gave me my blog evaluation.  There was a lot of positive input on the evaluation, which was really encouraging! The one suggestion that was listed was to separate my business posts from my other blog posts.  A business post, according to the evaluator, is not as interesting to read and includes lists, class overviews, and general reporting out on what I have done.  This is an interesting suggestion, and maybe I will try it.  I will also make sure to label all posts with specific titles so that reader knows whats coming.  This may require several blog posts per day (or in one sitting), due to the fact that I will need to separate my posts. 

Mentor Meeting:
I haven't been reflecting on my mentor meetings in my blog very I hope that isn't a strict requirement.  But I have indeed been having mentor meetings.  Mr.Creagan and I usually have shorter meetings, but we cover a lot.  This week we talked about the Garden.  We tried to brainstorm some ideas of flowers to include, but ultimately decided that Mr.Fernandez would be the best resource to ask.  Also we looked at the calender, and roughly made a week by week plan.  By next meeting (Monday, a week from today).  I should have my design plan done for the Garden.  Then, that same week if possible, I should present my plan to the committee at the Ithaca Children's Garden.  The following two weeks will consist of asking for donations and finalizing information.  Then hopefully the garden build day can happen June 11th (a Saturday) just in time for me to be able to present about it on the 15th.  I really hope everything goes according to the plan, because if so I think things will be a success.  Time is ticking, and this is a crucial push in my WISE project. 

Mrs.Gergely once talked to us in class about how she enjoyed the intensity of finals week.  It gave her the chance to really push herself and see what she could do in a given amount of time.  Well Mrs.Gergely, its that time for me right now- lets see what I can do.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Ok, I just have to add some pictures!! Then I will be done!

I just looked up images of some of the musical named flowers...not too many pretty ones...
Campanula (bellflower)

Angel trumpet flower

Cotula coronopifolia (brass buttons)

Primula denticulata (drumstick primrose)

Isopogon anemonifolius (drumsticks)

Amsinckia intermedia (fiddlehead)


As you may know, I have a difficult task to accomplish.  The Music Garden. 
My options of plants are limited. The funds for the project are non-existent. Yikes. is a list of flowers with musical names!

-Acmenosperma claviflorum Syn. Syzygium claviflorum (trumpet satinash)
-Allamanda cathartica (common trumpet vine)
-Cordia subcordata (sea trumpet)
-Thunbergia (trumpet vine)
-Eucalyptus salubris (fluted gum tree)
-Eucalyptus stowardii (fluted horn mallee)
-Isopogon anemonifolius (drumsticks)
-Platycerium rupestris (elk horn fern)
-Sida cordifolia (goat's horn)
-Amsinckia intermedia (fiddlehead)
-Craspedia globosa (drumsticks)
-Campanula (bellflower)
-Moluccella laevis (bells of Ireland)
-Cerastium pedunculatum (bell flowered mouse ear)
-Codonocarpus cotinifolius (bell fruit tree)
-Erica cinerea (bell heather)
-Gilia campanulata (bell shaped gily flower)
-Uvularia sessilifolia (bellflowers)
-Beilschmiedia pahangensis (horn laurel)
-Datura metel (horn of plenty)
-Fedia cornucopiae (horn of plenty)
-Viguiera deltoidea parishii (triangle goldeneye)
-Neodypsis decaryi (triangle palm)
-Polygala cruciata aquilonia (drumheads)
-Primula denticulata (drumstick primrose)
-Rumex pulcher (fiddle dock)
-Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig)
-Crepis runcinata (fiddle leaf hawk's beard)
-Sarracenia leucophylla (fiddler's trumpet)
-Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper)
-Gentiana acaulis (trumpet gentian)
-Trumpet Flower (many)
-Ribes leptanthum (trumpet gooseberry)
-Zantedeschia aethiopica (trumpet lily)
-Narcissus pseudonarcissus (trumpet narcissus)
-Cecropia peltata (trumpet tree)
-Sarracenia flava (trumpets)

Site Source (another blogger!):


I was absent on the class day when we received "Get a Grip and Set Your Sights Above Adversity".  This is an article about resilience by Jane E. Brody.

I found this article to be very interesting.  I never really though much about the meaning of resilience, but it is a very important aspect of ones mental health.  Resilience is basically the ability to cope with stresses and setbacks in your life, and turn negative experiences into positive ones.  The key to having resilience is being able to focus on what you can control in your life.  If one puts all of their energy into changing something that they have no influence on, then their life will feel helpless and hopeless.  A quote that I really enjoyed from the article was "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."  I agree that trying to decide what things you have the control over can sometimes be difficult.  Often one may really desire to change something that they simply cannot. 

Some important steps to gain resilience: -know that you are the author of your own life. -identify your negative scripts and assume responsibility for changing them. -nurture your self esteem. -develop a new skill.  -shed people or activities that are no longer satisfying or efficient. -don't be afraid of change.

Class Day 5/2

This past Monday in WISE class...

We did a lot of house keeping this week, because the end of the year is coming up so quickly! Monday our 4th quarter mentor evaluation is due.  The Monday after that (the 16th) our creative project is due.  Thursday that 26th is a sample presentation at 6:00, which I am very excited about! And sometime soon after that will be our own presentations.  I feel a lot of WISE work coming on in the near future....

I haven't recieved my blog evaluation I hope I get this tomorrow. I really want to see what improvements I should make on my blog.

Class again tomorrow!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Compost Fair

I have been extremely busy these last two weeks, and now everything that I slacked off on is catching up to me! I'm sorry blog- for not giving you enough attention.

Before I talk about the compost fair, I want to just brainstorm a list of things that I need to do in the next one or two weeks.  This is just a quick list to get my mind going:
-research musical plants
-go to the Childrens Garden and check out the spot
-observe some landscapes around town for inspiration
-do that sheet with Mr.C for class on Monday
-research zones
-read and respond to the article that we read in class last tuesday (I was absent)
-Creative project for class on the 16th
That seems pretty good for now. 

The Compost Fair was on Sunday, May 1st!  It is entirely run by the Master Composters, so we had an enormous amount of work to do.  I was there on Sunday from 9-5.  I would say the event was a great success!  I was working at the basics booth, and therefore I talked to a lot of people who didn't know much about composting.  The best part about this was that I got to really see how much I do and don't know about composting.  The fair had music, food, demo sites, compost consultations, a plant swap, an advanced composting area and more.  I am excited to hear how the fair went for the other booths, because I only got to be around the basics booth.  On May 12th is graduation, and I will have finished my Master Composter course!! Becoming a Master Composter could have really been a whole WISE project by itself.  There is a lot of work and time that the course demands.  But I am excited to incorporate my composting skills into the Music Garden (adding some compost to the soil for healthy plants!)

Here is a few of us at the compost fair!!