Noblehill Primary School

Winner: 2019 Best Garden for Wildlife

Joint Winner: 2019 My Favourite Garden Public Vote

Creature Comforts are satisfied here whether you're a hedgehog, a bee, a bird or a person. This is a park for wildlife that is clever with water, using buried pipes and organic material to retain water in times of drought.

Creature Comforts. This drought tolerant garden is a miniature park for wildlife. A layer of shredded prunings in the soil helps to hold on to water and release it slowly, also providing nutrients as they rot. Our wildlife friendly garden was designed by Noblehill's P7 class. After deciding on a drought friendly garden, the class did some reading about which plants would be best suited and how to encourage wildlife.

This Pocket Garden was created as part of Noblehill's Wednesday activity afternoons called Nobleskillz. The P7 class were set the task of designing a Pocket Garden and split into four groups. Some of the class researched plants which do well in drought conditions while others looked at plants that attract insects.  Some pupils looked up how to build shelters for wildlife while a fourth group drew the designs. 

Pupils built bug hotels and a hedgehog house for their adopted hedgehogs and have included them in the garden. They have used their own compost made at school and plants either grown from seed or from cuttings taken in the school grounds.  All plants and wildlife shelters will be reused within the school grounds once the Pocket Garden display has finished.

The theme for the garden is a miniature park for wildlife which incorporates plants to attract insects, water for frogs and toads, an area for birds and plants for people to eat too.  Pupils plan to use the tomatoes, herbs and strawberries in the Pocket Garden to make pizza for their One Planet Picnic which the children at the Nursery class have organised.

Sun made of buttons

Hedgehog hotel

Line your nest here

Noblehill P7 chose to use drought tolerant plants and incorporate a series of drainage pipes using an old hosepipe, which has been hidden under the path to aid drainage in times of heavy rainfall. 

The planted area has a base of shredded prunings which were left by the council groundskeepers.  These will help to retain moisture and will give off heat as they rot. 

They have also incorporated school compost and shredded bark to give some slow release nutrients and to help hold moisture. 

Noblehill have reused many items including an old stool, a waste paper basket, jam jars, burst piping, used bubble wrap, ice lolly sticks, and plastic bottles.

The park depicted in the Pocket Garden is named Elouise Park, named after Noblehill's P7 teacher's new daughter.

On the pallet backboard, you can see bees made by pupils as part of their Be All You Can Be project and a sunshine made from an old ball and yellow buttons.

Bees on the garden backboard

Noblehill's Be All You Can Be project

Following on from the display at Gardening Scotland, Noblehill pupils emailed to let us know they had installed their Pocket Garden in the school grounds next to their entry from 2018.

Pocket Garden installed in school grounds

Noblehill gardening group

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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