Raleigh school garden receives neighborhood Yard of the Month!

OLLS First grade teachers Amy Parent and Susan Kirkpatrick

OLLS first grade teachers Amy Parent and Susan Kirkpatrick

There is a garden at the Our Lady of Lourdes school that rewards those passing by everyday of the year with beauty, charm, color and hope.  Now, the head gardeners, first grade teachers Amy Parent and Susan Kirkpatrick, have been rewarded for their efforts.

The neighborhood of Fallon Park, where OLLS resides, recognized their garden by bestowing the Fallon Park Garden Club monthly Yard of the Month award to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School.  Congratulations, Amy and Susan, this is well deserved indeed!

For nine years, Amy and Susan have raised flowers, wildlife, and the next generation of gardeners with their first grade classes.  Lovingly cared for by the class including parental involvement in the spring and fall with planting, mulching, and weeding events, this garden has become an integral part of the school.


Over the nine years, the gardeners (heads and wee) have learned lessons in drought, sustainability, planting, and tending.  Little hands have also make gifts for the garden through art class by making stepping stones.


Paths now meander through the garden adding to the aesthetic appeal as well as directing wee feet.

I know many of you have felt the charm of this little garden as you travel up Anderson towards Six Forks Road.  Now as you drive by, you can silently thank 2 teachers and their wee little gardeners.  The first grade classes  may have been rewarded this month, but your garden rewards us every month.

Enjoy the photo journey!










Story and photos by Helen Yoest, garden coach and garden writer
Gardening With Confidence



  1. Victoria Rutkowski said

    Congratulations! You work so hard inside and outside of your classrooms and we are so lucky to have such a fantastic team of first grade teachers. You bless the grounds with your touch of beauty and inspire the children you teach to have a great love of God’s creation.

  2. katie simmons said

    Congrats!!!! It is beautiful. You two are awesome!!!

  3. Rees massarelli said

    it is wonderful i go there im in 4D

  4. Lori Elliott said

    You both deserve this recognition. Thank you for making the school so beautiful. It is such hard work, and you are giving such a gift to the first graders, the parents, the school, and the neighborhood. Congratulations!!!!!

  5. Dawn Zachary said

    You are both so special and important to the Lourdes family. Our children are blessed to have worked with you. Congratulations, God is smiling!

  6. Everyman said

    What a fantastic achievement!
    Well done – for every child that has been involved you have started to nurture a future gardener and we can’t have too many of those! I love the pictures and the stepping stones are a wonderful idea.
    Thanks for sharing this story with the world, maybe it will spawn a few copies, or should that be cuttings?

  7. Alicia Haugh said

    The article choked me up! I have often felt that sense of peace while passing by your beautiful garden, in my car or on foot. It’s a wonderful addition to our neighborhood and thanks so much for it’s creation and maintenance.

  8. Kristen H Monahan said

    Amy, Susan, and Helen,

    Thank you so much for invigorating the Fallon Park Garden Club’s Yard of the Month program. It’s truly been a pleasure to honor all your hard work with our recognition. In addition, you epitomize our Mission Statement of our intent to:
    1. Encourage beautification of our community and aid in the protection of trees, shrubs, flowers, wildlife, and soil conservation.
    2. Promote togetherness in the club and community.
    3. Be an advocate for Fallon Park.
    Thank you again!

    Kristen H Monahan – Treasurer Fallon Park Garden Club

  9. Kim Williams said

    The garden is beautiful and I am so thankful that you are teaching our little ones about how to care for God’s creation.

  10. Sue Greiner said

    Congratulations Amy and Susan, what a beautiful garden!

  11. Laurie Huger said

    Awesome job, 1st Grade! You have worked so hard, and we get to enjoy the fruits of your labor as we look out of our window! Ahhhh…so peaceful! Thanks! 3H

  12. Michele King said

    My children have loved and learned in this garden! Thanks for all of your hard work!

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