Welcome to my virtual garden of ideas…growing more than green fingers

This section contains lots of gardening related activities. I want to demonstrate that any teacher or parent or play worker can provide simple gardening opportunities for children. Please browse and enjoy 🙂

I’m not a professional gardener and my own garden is one big experiment. If I can garden, then any teacher can. If a plant or structure survives in my garden, then it probably will do alright in a school garden too as I do specialise in ones which cope with benign neglect.

Gardening probably covers more experiences and outcomes than any other activity in schools. The trick is to spend time planning how a class of 30+ children can get the hands on experience needed. Start small, be prepared to experiment and put a gardening calendar in place to ensure the basic jobs are done when needed.

Remember that gardens link to many projects. For example, a Victorian garden can have heritage vegetables. A Dig for Victory garden brings alive this practical aspect of coping during the Second World War.

By gardening organically and re-using and recycling as much as possible, you can ensure children have opportunities to learn about sustainable living in a practical, hands on way.

Gardening, Wildlife and Biodiversity

Willow structures

Clare Revera’s guest post

Wonderful Willow at The Coombes School

A willow museum and other activities based upon willow

Wee green fingers

Advice and information about biodiversity gardening with young children


The ins and outs of making compost

Squirrels and birds

Squirrel proof bird feeders

Plants, Containers and Raised Beds

Some thoughts about the play and learning value of these items

Ponds in schools and nurseries

Some thoughts, ideas and examples

Creating a pond from a tyre

My mini pond is growing!

Shady solutions

Using trees for shade and shelter

Gardening at Inveraray Primary School

Have a look at this West Coast example

Creating Bird Friendly Schools and Nurseries

Top tips from RSPB Officer, Claire Marsden

A Bird Feeding Garden

A natural alternative to traditional hangers and bird feeders with curriculum ideas included. A must read.

Specific School Grounds Garden Projects

A Wonderful Wildlife Garden

Former professional wildlife gardener turned RSPB Officer, Ella McLellan, gives some useful advice and food for thought about wildlife gardens in schools

A Crocus Labyrinth

Reflections on flowers and the humble crocus

Palettes for Re-purposing and Play

A super play garden made from wooden palettes!

Zen Gardens

A reflection upon creating meditative landscapes

Fairy Gardens and Literacy

A super context for fantasy small-world play outside. It’s been an ongoing project in Westpark nursery.

Short, Simple Gardening-related Activities

DIY Clipboard Flower Press

Big or small, you can now press your favourite plants easily and quickly.

Repurpose School Books into Seed Packets

Start collecting seeds in these DIY packets. Create a seed exchange with local schools.

Origami Seed Packets

A simple way of making packets to collect and store seeds. Brilliant!

Check out this Greenhouse

An amazing indoor experience!

Kickstarting a whole school approach to gardening

Riverbank Primary School’s garden trug show! Before long they could rival Chelsea Flower Show!

The Soapwort Experiment

Using a natural soap for hand washing – easy to grow and use.

Garden label of love

What does your signage say in your garden?

Playful Garden Projects

5 Ways to Re-use your Christmas Tree

Don’t chuck it out – old trees can be used as mulch, to cover muddy ground and much more.

How to Make a Seed Bomb

A spot of guerrilla gardening!

The Forbidden Fun of Compost Bins

Repurposing a garden object

Minibeast Garden Projects

Log Piles – Creating a Flourishing Wildlife Community

The old-fashioned log pile is an essential feature in any school ground or outdoor space and great for biodiversity.

Minibeast Hotels and Other Residences

Exploring a variety of man-made minibeast dwellings. Upcycle, recycle, be artistic and creative and enjoy seeing the wildlife move in.

Minibeast Habitats

A selection of very simple and doable ideas for making your grounds more welcoming for our little creatures.

Confessions of a worm worrier

Advice for establishing a wormery

Edible Ideas

Garlic mustard pesto

Simple recipe for using garlic mustard to create a zingy pesto!

Making Rose-hip Syrup

A war time solution to avoiding scurvy!

Nettle Soup

Utterly delicious

Foraging for Fruit

A way to develop a life long interest in gardening!


How to make the perfect Pace Egg

Hawthorn fruit leather

A tasty autumnal snack and great source of vitamin C

Outdoor snacks and drinks

Lots of suggestions from many educators

Various Gardening Posts

101 Things For Kids To Do Outside

Dawn Isaac’s brilliant book – full of outdoor and gardening related activities.

The Pansy Project

One pansy. One play. One photo. One act of homophobic or transphobic abuse is quietly acknowledged. Please support this guerrilla gardening arts project by Paul Harfleet.


Celebrating a new garden in style

Communities and Gardens

An adult learning project leads the way for practical and enterprising approaches to gardening that schools can use for ideas and inspiration

Do you have a poisonous plant in your school garden?

The answer is likely to be “yes” and everyone is just fine

Nettle Soup – An Earth Day Recipe (better late than never)

25 April 2010
Nettle Soup

Picking nettles can be fascinating for children.

[..

Kids in the Garden – Book Review

30 March 2010
The Star

I have seen a lot of children’s gardening books in my time.

[..

Squirrels and Birds

6 November 2009
Bird Feeder

Squirrel proof bird feeders and more.

[..

Confessions of a worm worrier

5 September 2008
The Star

Top tips for keeping worms happy.

[..