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Granny is giving each student a piece of Granny’s Garden, in the form of tall bearded iris rhizomes, to take home and plant. These hardy perennials will come back year after year.  They are not picky about soil conditions, but do not like to have the top of the rhizome buried (see photo in directions) Directions for planting and caring for tall bearded iris.

Below is a sampling of some of the different varieties of iris that grew in the gardens.


On September 22, 2016,  Roberta Paolo, (aka “Granny”) the founder and Executive Director announced that Granny’s Garden School was discontinuing its renowned school garden program due to a lack of funding.  VideoIntroduction to Granny’s Garden School


Founded in 2002, Granny’s Garden School is a non-profit organization that turns school grounds into vibrant Schoolyard Nature Education Gardens (SNEG) with a food garden for each classroom, a nature trail, many flower gardens plus learning centers and gathering places.

The Schoolyard Nature Education Garden is the foundation for our STEAM focused, plant based environmental educational program.  GGS also provides the infrastructure, personnel, volunteers, integrated curriculum, lesson plans and project management that makes it a valuable education tool. We take care of the details so teachers can focus on teaching.

Our program is part of the school day.

GGS provides Garden Educators who in collaboration with classroom teachers use the SNEG to engage students in experiential learning that builds on what students are learning in the classroom. Our curriculum and lesson plans are designed to seamlessly merge outdoor and classroom education.  Granny’s Garden Educators follow these sound, time-tested lesson plans that teachers have endorsed as age-appropriate, effective, and consistent with the schools’ curricula and state standards. We make our curriculum and lesson plans available free of charge.

GGS currently has SNEGS and educational programs in four elementary schools in the Loveland and Princeton School districts, (north of Cincinnati, OH) where we serve more than 2,000 students. Each student participates in our education program 22 times each school year (11 weeks in spring and 11 weeks in fall).

How much does it cost?   There is no charge for students to participate in Granny’s Garden Schools programs.  The school districts do not financially support GGS. We depend on grants from private foundations and businesses, fundraising and individual donors.

We believe in sharing our experience and knowledge with others.  Granny’s has been the inspiration for and mentored many garden programs, including The Rothenberg Roof Gardens in Over the Rhine and others throughout the region and across the country. Today, thanks to the work and dedication of many over the years, Granny’s is one of the largest and most comprehensive programs of its kind in the country.