Community Garden

Community Garden

Year 11 pupils Emma W and Harry P are currently working with the Alumni Relations and Development Office as part of their Service. They met with Blake Housemistress Mrs Cooper and parent Mrs Cotterill to talk about a new initiative funded by the Annual Fund - The RHS Community Garden aka 'The Secret Garden'.

'Mrs Cooper explained how the pupils in Blake enjoyed being outside, but despite the wonderful grounds had no garden space. After speaking to the Headmaster about this conundrum, Mr Lockyer mentioned that part the garden at Holbrook House was unused. Mrs Cooper was successful in securing £1,500 worth of funding for equipment to create a garden initially for Blake pupils, however after consulting other House staff, there seemed to be lots of interest to be involved.

At the same time, Simon Page, son of the former gardener to Holbrook House contacted the school with the offer of donating his father's gardening diaries - one for every year he worked at RHS. Mrs Cooper and some Year 7s met with Mr Page to officially receive the diaries which are now located in the Heritage Centre.

The benefits of gardening are many; they encourage the pupils to be outside, spending less on ipads. Being outside improves well being and a feeling of home, like pottering in the garden.

The plan is that this project will become a school-wide project, open to the entire school community. The layout of the garden has been designed by Mrs Cotterill, who recently completed a Beth Chatto garden design course. The design will incorporate a herb wheel, 8 raised beds to grow beans, cabbages, potatoes, onions, beetroot, peas and pumpkins for Halloween. There are also plans to plant fruit trees along the 'wiggly wall'.

Many of the school's departments will be involved in the project. The Science department have offered their greenhouse for seed growing. Food Tech will be helping to make pickles to sell. To help reduce food waste, the kitchen's will be supplying leftovers to create compost for the garden, which will also be used for the 'Grow With Us' tree campaign. In fact Design Technology are already on board as some of the pupils have been recycling old canoe's to be used as plant holders.

We will keep you updated on the progress of the garden."

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