Weather Forecast


Garden blooms in brilliant color at Farmington school

North Trail Elementary School kids had to put off planting their Rainbow Garden Tuesday, thanks to the heavy showers most of the day.

But that was OK, because by Wednesday, the ground was nice and soft, and there were plenty of plants to be planted.

Students in every grade were asked to bring flowers to school with them this week. They could bring any kind, annual or perennial, short or tall, as long as they brought the color assigned to their grade.

Art teacher Pam Tycer has been doing the Rainbow Garden since it was started in 2008. The school has five gardens, but the Rainbow Garden is special in that the flowers planted there represent all of the grades, and all of the students, from the school year.

They start planting with the first graders, who are asked to bring in yellow flowers. Those are set in as the center stripe, like a rainbow. The second grade brings in orange flowers, the third grade brings in purple and blue. Fourth grade brings the red flowers and the fifth grade contributes magenta and pink flowers.

“It’s sort of a community tradition around here,” Tycer said. “We start by doing the center line with the first grade, then fill in the rest of the colors throughout the day.”

Tycer uses the project to tie in with her art curriculum — in particular, the color wheel — and encourages the students to come back several times throughout the summer to see the garden’s progress.

“It just keeps going. It gets more colorful and more beautiful all summer long,” she said.

In the fall, she’ll take students out to the garden to do art projects. There are actually five gardens, including a butterfly garden and a vegetable garden, at the school. All of those are used as learning sites in spring and fall, Tycer said.

Tycer relies on students and families to help care for the gardens over the summer. She’s still looking for a few more families to sign up for this year. Any family interested may contact her by email,

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

(651) 702-0974