El Dorado School Community Garden

As gardeners, we might have a few more blissful moments in our lives. It could be the connection to the earth. An appreciation for the aesthetic beauty of plants or the endorphins released from digging. Who knows? I visited the El Dorado School Community Garden a few weeks ago and walking through the garden was a blissful experience.
Eldorado is a community of artists, located 12 miles southeast of Santa Fe. My tour guide for the El Dorado School Community Garden was George M. Henke, one of the founders and the director of the garden. The garden started as an embroynic idea of George’s that was inspired by Michael Pollan's, a Letter to the Farmer in Chief and was established in 2009.

The garden is a partnership between the El Dorado School and the community of Eldorado. It is 1.5 acres and adjacent to the school. The garden serves dual capacities as an outdoor classroom and a community garden. The hexagonal beds are demonstration beds for student gardening. The honeycomb pattern made me smile and think of busy bees buzzing away.

The garden is shaped in a mandala pattern. Walking around the curvilinear beds evokes the meditative quality of the garden. There is a communal garden and individual beds for growing fruits and vegetables. But if that's not for you, there is a cactus garden, perennial area, and a labyrinth. Yes, labyrinth!

The students of the school painted the murals. There is also a video link below of how the garden is integrated into the classroom and its sister garden in South Africa.

The garden has a labyrinth if you're in a contemplative mood and the triangular beds are for the students.

I was at the Santa Fe Master Garden show in April sometime. The common denominator I noticed in the attendees, besides an interest in gardening, was a sense of bliss. Radiance from within exuded from the people I saw. Peoples eyes sparkled when they made eye contact. After visiting the garden, I felt blissed-out. It's a special place that integrates form and function.

This post was inspired after seeing the video, Community Garden and Sister Garden in Acornhoek, South Africa that my friend Teresa, George's wife shared. It's a 10 minute video that is worthwhile to watch.
Random community garden photos of chives and onions??? The sun was directly overhead so all of the photos in the post tend to be washed out.
Some easy, do-it yourself garden cloches. Transparent tubs with holes for air and a rock placed on top of them to prevent wind from blowing them away.


  1. Bliss is what I feel looking at these lovely photos, overhead sun or not, and contemplating the spirit of the garden.

  2. Very nice. I think it's great that the school does something like this for kids.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. @Patricia - I almost didn't go because I had some time constraints, but I'm so glad that I did.

    @Sunray - Cher, I like the concept. Some of the gardeners developed lesson plans for the teachers. And the garden has changed the kids' perspectives.

  4. Wow, I love those hexagonal planting boxes! Much more interesting than just squares or rectangles!!

  5. @Toni - The hexagonal planters are great. I've been meaning to go back there to see what's growing in them.


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