Gardening at Inveraray Primary School

5 September 2010 · 4 comments

in Developing School Grounds & Outdoor Spaces, Gardening

In my last post about Inveraray Primary School, I flagged up biodiversity within the grounds. I’ve always felt that biodiversity and gardening activities go hand in hand. After all, gardening is about growing plants and any plant grown that benefits humans and wildlife is a positive action to take. The Scottish science experiences and outcomes for biodiversity are written in such a way that gardening is an ideal on-going project for any school keen on practical, active learning.

I think gardening is a key feature and a core part of children’s outdoor experiences at Inveraray. I’m now going to leave the explanations to the staff, former and present. Many thanks to Lynn Kidd, Fiona Hamilton and Anne Paterson for your comments.

“The tyres are used to grow potatoes and were donated by the local garage who were happy to hand them over as it saved them paying to get rid of them. We repaid their generosity the first year by sharing our crop with the garage employees.”

“This is the second layout of raised beds. You should never be afraid to review areas in the grounds and renew. In this case the children who had designed the first raised beds had all left school so the current pupils redesigned and had new ownership.”

“We are very lucky to have a parent who wants to manage this for us as well as being hands on with the pupils, running an after school gardening club. Parents, carers and staff take turns watering the plants over the summer holidays and their thank you payment is being able to take any produce that is ready for eating over the holiday period – tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, courgettes, peas and beans.”

“These tubs were recycled after their original job was to provide sheep with minerals. All you need is a kind farmer. In this case my husband!”

“Cups were added to scare off birds – but then created a litter problem on a windy day, so were taped down to try to solve this problem!”

“This garden was designed by a P1-2 class five years ago during a seashore topic. The boat was acquired from the local caravan park (it was going to be burnt at bonfire night). More holes were drilled in the bottom and it was filled with rubble and top soil. A parent helped the children choose herbs to put in the boat and also donated rosemary bushes that sit along the back of the boat. The grasses at the front were placed to look like waves and other parents dug out an area around the boat for the stones to go down to look like the beach. It is due for a tidy up as we lost quite a lot of plants this winter.”

“This is the hot composting shed, which has speeded up the quantity and time it takes to make compost. The janitor, Mr Paterson, looks after this. We doubled the number of beds after the Hot Composting unit was up and running.”

All-in-all the gardening routines are established which means there is a system for managing and maintaining the gardening activities. If you want to get going with more gardening in your own school or with your own class, have a look at Wee Green Fingers and other gardening posts.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherry and Donna September 5, 2010 at 10:59

This is perfect Juliet. Sherry and I are hopeless when it comes to growing food so one of our Grandad’s is building us a ‘no dig’ garden box and he will teach the children (and us) about growing vegetables, so to read this today is great timing … Thanks for the inspiration!
Donna 🙂 🙂

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Teacher Tom September 5, 2010 at 15:11

I wish we had the space for this kind of gardening. It’s amazing!

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Juliet Robertson September 7, 2010 at 06:59

I take an experimental approach to gardening. I’ll plant, water and feed the plants. If they grow, great. If they don’t – ah well. I planted some fruit bushes this year but my dog ate all the berries 🙁

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Abbie September 7, 2010 at 20:24

What an amazing garden those children have access to. That is just incredible. I would love for my daughters preschool to start even a small portion of that.

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