Things became sticky last week at St. Brigid of Kildare School as first- and second-graders crafted mosaics for a new garden.

Things became sticky last week at St. Brigid of Kildare School as first- and second-graders crafted mosaics for a new garden.

The large mosaic panels and steppingstones will be installed in the school's new garden that was funded via a Healthier Ohio School Challenge Team Nutrition grant from the Ohio Department of Education.

The garden will teach students about nutrition and wellness but also was a good excuse for art teacher Larrie Habel to have students craft some art to decorate the new garden.

The artists-in-school committee hosted a visit from mixed-media artist Lynda Elias, who showed the first- and second-graders how to make the mosaics.

"It's complicated because Larrie has a wonderful vision of a garden with plants and mosaics," Elias said.

Students' sketches of what might be found in a garden also outlined designs for the mosaics, but the work was made easier by a mosaic method Elias learned from Philadelphia artist Isaiah Zagar.

"It allows first-graders to come in and work on a mosaic, or anyone with no patience," Elias said of the method. "It's like doing a puzzle."

Students used pieces of broken plates donated to the school to fill in space between lines of glass.

"You can use any color (of plate), but you won't lose the design because they have the lines," Elias said.

After students were finished fixing pieces to the mosaic panels and stepping stones, Elias used grouting to fill in between the mosaic pieces.

Elias, a retired Delaware teacher, said she enjoyed working with the St. Brigid students.

"I'd like to do more community projects because that's a project that anyone can do," she said.

After the mosaic art is finished, it will be installed in the new garden.

Students were looking forward to planting the new garden as they worked on the mosaics early last week, but rain dampened their plans.

Julie Tobias, who is leading work funded by the grant, said three planters were installed in the school's courtyard.

"I learned from the training to start small and build to grow," she said.

The gardens will feature flowers, chives, onions, cilantro, peppers, squash, tomatoes and other plants.

"It's a salsa garden. We'll do a pizza garden in the future," Tobias said. "It will show kids that food doesn't originate from the grocery store."

A Girl Scout group and volunteers will work the garden over the summer, but when students return in the fall, they should see peppers and other vegetables sprouting outside the classroom.

"There won't be enough to serve (in the cafeteria)," Tobias said. "We'll use (the products of the garden) in some classrooms and use it for taste testing. In some classes, we'll use it for education. We should be able to incorporate the garden into all of the classes somehow."