Glenaeon Garden Culture - Volunteers: Nature's Gifts

18 January 2024

Volunteer plants are beneficial plants that sprout and thrive independently instead of being intentionally planted and nurtured. They are a gift to gardens! Similarly, we welcome volunteer humans who ‘sprout, grow and flourish’ in our gardens.

Clair’s story

Glenaeon Teacher and parent Clair Cisterne sprouted in the garden last term by caring for citrus trees: weeding, protecting, pruning and fertilising them, while learning and growing herself! This section of the garden will become a memorial garden for Clair’s botanist grandmother, Judith Eastman.

“Volunteering in the garden suits me more than anyone! I pick Sandra’s and the other gardeners’ brains as much as I can get away with, and they hold my hand as I put it to practice. I take home compost, worm castings and all sorts of cuttings, so my own garden becomes an extension of our shared one. What a deal! Then, there’s nothing better than just roaming around and marvelling at the beauty – hovering in the light, tranquil feeling of a glorious garden. I’m filled with enthusiasm and ideas for my own favourite space, and overjoyed at the huge, new world of knowledge that awaits me.

I bravely approached Sandra with my new desire to learn about gardening and wasn’t at all made to feel silly for not knowing the simplest of things. Now my neighbours on both sides have popped their head over our fence, wanting to know what I’m up to, and if they can do it too. My husband has even made them some garden beds. It really does feel like a little seed…and the magic of mother nature.”

Chrissie's story

Inspired by a social media post featuring a Glenaeon Garden Culture article, Glenaeon alumni and former parent, Chrissie Ivanchenko, started volunteering in the garden in 2024. Chrissie was heartily welcomed together with her ideas, stories and cheerful disposition. Garden beds have been weeded and mulched, and a project of creating a raised garden bed is underway.

“I love that I learn something every time I come. I love being part of something that is so nurturing for the people that work here. I think that gardening is a vital part of educating children. If they know how to care for the Earth, they will also protect it.”

We were delighted to learn that Chrissie’s father David Lawes helped start the Glenaeon newsletter in the 1980s!

Just like seedlings, human volunteers take root and thrive in our Glenaeon gardens. This is what Waldorf Education is about: a place to appreciate learning, to come together where everyone feels welcome, where dreams come true.

See you in the Garden!

Sandra Frain…..and Parent Volunteers
Gardening Teacher