|A Child's Garden in Wales|
The Chelsea Flower Show must be one of the few UK flower shows that does not encourage children to attend. I only saw one child visitor and two children behind a stand on the day I attended. Children's growing was highlighted in several gardens this year.
My favourite was A Child's Garden in Wales. A 1940s inspired garden created by Anthea Guthrie, with the teenage boys from special needs schools in Heronsbridge and Ysgol Bryn Castell Wales with whom she had been working with for two years. Home made footballs and hobby horses, a rusted iron junk fence with umbrella spokes all feature. No plastic toys in sight. As the garden is set in 1947 most of it is given over to fruit and vegetables. The few annuals children then would have grown are surprisingly similar to those children would have grown today, including Love in the Mist, Calendula, forget me nots and night scented stock. They are similar to the easy grow flowers seeds I use with my son. Its great that the children researched the history of the garden
|Calendula flowers amongst the vegetables|
|Radishes from the Learning Journey|
The cut flower part of the garden highlighted 9 inner city schools in south east London where the children grew their own cut flowers and able to take a learning journey into plant care. The project recognised that many urban schools are surrounded by hard urban views with little foliage and flowers. It demonstrated that
even schools without land garden soil can grow in containers,
Similarly the fruit and veg part of the garden demonstrated how the children in schools throughout the country grew food without a vegetable patch using window sills and containers on hard landscaped areas. The photograph shows the large variety of radishes which were grown, a really easy plant for children to grow.
If you have a favourite Chelsea garden this year please let us know. If you are growing food and flowers in your school please get in touch we'd love to hear from you.