For someone who has never entered a community garden it’s not always easy to understand what’s going on in there.
Good information boards and labelling systems can be a good way to help people understand the garden, its plants and the activities happening in there.
To allow people who wouldn’t normally go to the garden to understand it so that they can take part in its activities.
Wooden sticks, wooden panel, waterproof painting, blackboard painting (optional), a piece of cork, a piece of plastic (to protect the panel).
Try to imagine you are someone who doesn’t know anything about gardens:
What would be useful for this person to know? What is where, which activities do you run, what is this plant or where should he/she put rubbish…?
How could you explain it to him/her? Big information panels with lots of text, a big map with some names, small labels in the plants, a label in each part of the garden…?
An information panel will be useful to help the person have a general idea about the garden.
1/ If your garden is open to the public, identify which is the main entrance for the people that don’t belong to it and try to find an area in where you can put the information panel.
2/ Define which things from the garden you want to highlight at the information point.
3/ Find out the best way to express them (plan, text, agenda …).
4/ Trace a sketch of the structure of the panel making sure you pay attention to the measurements and checking that it fits in the area you will place it.
5/Collect/Buy the material for the structure of the panel.
6/ Build the panel.
7/ Paint the panel with waterproof paint.
8/ Paint a piece of the panel with blackboard paint (optional).
9/ Stick the cork to the panel and paint it with waterproof paint too (optional).
10/ Add some plastic material as a roof to cover the panel.
11/ Make sure the paint is dry before starting to use the panel.
And the panel is ready to write the information on it.
There are some things in the garden which are difficult to be included in the general information panel. Therefore, we need to have a smaller information system. Labels can be put around plants and areas that need to be highlighted.
1/ Define which things from the garden need to be highlighted in a more detailed or specific way.
2/ Decide the best way to express them. There are lots of ways to do this, try and be creative in deciding how you want to do it.
3/ Make a list of all the labels you will need to create and of the material that you will need to create them.
4/ Collect/Buy the material for the labels.
5/ Make up all the labels you need.
6/ Start to write down all the names on them. Make sure the painting material will stay put, even if it rains or if it is exposed to the sun.
7/ Place the labels in their correct place, making sure they’re visible from different perspectives.
And the labels are ready to inform gardeners and visitors!
How many people use the information tools when there are some activities in the garden?
Do people from outside of the garden understand what’s going on there better than before?
Is it useful internally too?
Instead of or in addition to using a big information panel, you can create some labels to be put around the plants or to highlight a specific area.
You can think of informing the visitors of the garden or the gardeners in your own garden.
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