Arthur Carlton-Jones

Path to Eagle

Gardening Merit Badge

Local Merit Badge Counsellor

Salisbury, Maryland

Personalized Merit Badge Counseling

Ginny Rosenkranz, Merit Badge Counsellor


This has been a fun merit badge to work on, but has been a lot of work.  Especially now that I have to water every day.


First I selected a site for my Garden.  The only problem was that it was overgrown with weeds and a small but useless tree.



So I got a bucket and started weeding


And Pruning


And more weeding - but I still have that tree to deal with.


Perhaps a saw will work - well sort of.


Victory (except for the Root, but how hard can that be)


Next, more Weeding.


As the Orc said to Saruman, "The Roots Go deep".


. . . and deeper


. . . and deeper.


Not that deep.  "Winning"  Funny, it sorta looks like the part of Calamari that I don't like.  The rings are good though!


Now thats what I'm talking about.


and its even better from a distance.


Finally, I can get to growing seeds.  Here is what I went with.  Peppers, Parsley and Colorful Flowers.


I planted the seeds in cool seed Greenhouse. (You can get these at Lowes, Home Depot or K Mart)


I used straws to prop up the lid so that the flowers could grow.


By the end of June, they were getting quite large.


My peppers were coming along nicely too, but they had been started later so they were not as big.


Time to Repot.


lots and lots of pots.


The Parsley was fun because I simply took the seeds that had been germinated on a wet paper towel, and planted them, paper and all with some dirt on top.


I watered, and they started to grow.


. . . and Grew.


And more weeding - but I still have that tree to deal with.


By now my flowers were blooming. (Zinia Candy Cane)


and blooming. (Zinia Purple Prince)


and blooming. (Red, White and Purple Petunias).


Now it was time to plant (Flowers in the Front, Vegetables in the Back).


The Flowers had clearly outgrown their Pots.


Gardening seems to involve a lot of Digging.


I planted various Flowers.


All done in the front.


Now to the back, and the Hot Peppers.


Peppers, Peppes and More Peppers.


And in go the Habaneros.  Hot, Hot, Hot


In the end it was worth it because I can finally harvest my peppers.


Some Hot, and Some not.


Tasty, Tasty Peppers.


That, and Tomatoes.  (The Hurricane knocked these over and snapped one of Support Stakes, but they are still growing and making tasty tomatoes.)


One of the Optional Requirements for the Gardening Merit Badge is to visit an Arboretum.  At the suggestion of my Counsellor, I went to the Adkins Arboretum in Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely Maryland.  (Here I am at the entrance.)


Actually, this was the Entrance.  Next we went to the Visitor center and watched an introductory movie.  We went a week after Hurricane Irene, so many of the trails were closed, but we were able to walk along a few of them (one of which had an Eagle Project in process - more about that later.)


The trail that I started on was called Nancy's Meadow Loop.  This was the dryest trail, going around a meadow


It was a very large Meadow (A meadow is defined as a field vegetated primarly by grass and other non-woody plants.)

This particular Meadow was a Transitional Meadow "which occurs when a field, pasture, farmland or other cleared land is no longer farmed or heavily grazed and starts to overgrow.  Once meadow conditions are achieved, however, the condition is only temporary because the early colonizers become shaded or when woody plants become well-established."


This is one of the signs placed throughout the Arboretum that provide education and information.  As I noted above, this indicated that the Meadow was a transitional Meadow.


The Meadow had Goldenrod.


And there were bird boxes. (I helped repair Bluebird Boxes with my Scout Troop at Pemberton Park in Salsibury)


I had to take a picture of this.  Devil's Walking Stick (or Aralia Spinosa).  The first time I found a piece of this when I was camping with the Scouts, I was excited because it was perfectly straight and I picked it up to carve a walking stick, and got a very unpleasant surprise.  (If that doesn't teach you Leave no Trace Ethics, nothing will.


There were lots of Trees (many of which were labeled) including Loblolly Pines (we get a lot of those on the Eastern Shore)


And Ironwood Trees


After leaving the Meadow Trail, I moved onto the Upland walk, where I had been told there was an Eagle Project in process.  I was dissapointed that it did not name the Scout whose project it was, but perhaps if he ever sees my website, he can email me and I will give him credit.


There was a Wood Circle with a Carved Turtle Head.


This is the Wood Circle.


This is the Tail of the Turtle (I guess that the Wood Ring is meant to be the body and shell of the Turtle.)


There were also several Indian Huts for Chidren to play in..


On the way out and before we left, I had to protect the Bridge.


"You Shall not Pass!".


Next I will be doing an Indoor Hydroponic Garden. (Pictures to follow).  I had originally intended to do Vermicomposting, but ultimately changed my mind which has set me back on earning this merit Badge.