Hermitage Academy

Winner: 2019 Best Garden for Water

A garden in praise of compost! Adding organic matter to the soil increases it's ability to hold onto moisture. Lift the lid on this composter to find out more!

Adding compost to soil helps it to retain moisture. The whole of this Pocket Garden is a compost bin whose walls are planted with Chives (for bees), nettles (for soup) and plants to represent the native landscape of Argyll and Bute.

Senior pupils have each planted a seed to contribute to the garden and provide a reminder of their time at Hermitage Academy. They take it home and nurture it until it is ready to be planted in the garden. 

Looking at the top of the garden, you can see that the whole top layer is a lid for the compost bin inside. There are chives planted here which bees love in the summer, and are also a tasty herb.

The frame is made from reclaimed pallet wood, and the walls of the bin inside are made from corrugated cardboard.

The compost bin has been filled with a mix of garden and food waste ready to turn into new soil. 

Decorating the outside of the garden are small plaques made from reclaimed wood, with gardening advice on pollinators like ladybirds and butterflies.

Compost in progress

Ladybirds are amazing for the garden

The compost pile  inside the bin is meant to provide food for the plants that surround it in the pallet, and also helps to retain water, helping to make this Pocket Garden resistant to drought.  In the original design, the pallet is filled with plants that represent the native landscape of Argyll and Bute, including some that would make a good soup.  The garden's frame is made from pallets that were sourced from local businesses and reused for their wood. 

This Pocket Garden is a Drought Resistant Garden. Scotland’s trend towards drier summers means that our plants may get thirsty.  Drought resistant designs look at ways to help the ground hold on to its moisture or feature plants that are adapted to tolerate periods of dry weather through deeper roots or with spiky, hairy or aromatic leaves that help the plant hold on to water. Drought resistant plant lists can be found here.

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