Today I received many students and guests in one of our newly-built school gardens. I also had a ”plant-exchange” with a Japanese pastor’s wife. What a blessing to have more herbal plants like apple mints, thymes, garden strawberries, etc. I gave 2 air-cleaning plants to be placed inside the church.

It’s amusing to recall the story behind our school

gardens, pre-renovation activities and the original plan. As our school is known for original thematic crafts & events, I’d like to have creative, unique gardens that aid onlookers to enjoy the wonders of nature in an intimate atmosphere plus mix-and-match our classroom learnings. (Our city has many beautiful gardens like the famous & humongous Showa Memorial Park…Ours are just simple & small yet enticing enough for healthy mind, body & spirit.  )

For 9 years living & managing the 3-storey schoolhouse, varieties of plants were grown in different ”showcases.” Glad to have received a certificate of recognition from our city mayor as I joined the ”green curtain” (bitter gourd & morning glories) contest. To suit the season & school events, plants were replaced and even rearranged around the schoolhouse building.

Last year’s typhoon destroyed a lot of our plants, planters & properties. Many police even came to the rescue at midnight until dawn as our school tent was blown away and hitting our neighbor house. I just kept the flag pole plastic stand bases just in case I’ll buy another big tent for school events.

When the school building renovation was completed on February 21, I started to design our rooftop & backyard gardens. Since a lot of our students’ stuff have minion characters, I decided to have the same design as our planters. After scouting planters’ prices online, various ¥ 100 shops, DIY stores and even FB ”mottainai” groups, my first garden design was way too much my very limited budget (still recovering from the millions-worth 2 buildings renovation)….Well, Konmari was the long, hot talk-of-the-town who’s schoolmate is still my student for 19 years now. I’ve thrown & given away a lot but glad I kept the 10 flag pole base stands. They have blue & white colors so it’s quick & easy to paint & transform them into minions. I actually chose 10 sets of pants & blouses to recreate them as planters but they may scare our students & passersby.  Aren’t the minion planters attractive & useful as they carry give-away herbal plants?

The wonderful flag pole stand bases had served well everytime we have events. My family had a chance to put up the school tent by using them; not their original purpose as long nails/pegs should be used. Thanks to our part-time teacher @Brent Nuñez who painted them, staff あらい ゆみ for the paint retouches, staff Rhizel Reco for helping me carry & clean stuff from the 3rd floor to the ground floor. To many of our Olives Language School teachers, our classic Rainbow Song and Shapes Chant are now ”intertwined” with nature in our garden classroom. Let’s have fun learning together with our beloved students & their families various languages & cultures and prepare them for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics & Paralympics!

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