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Pinkie St Peter Primary School

This Pop Up Garden was designed and built by Annabel from Pinkie St Peter Primary School.  She tells us the story of her garden in her own words: 

"I decided to make a Pop Up Pocket Garden, because my granny showed me a competition that Keep Scotland Beautiful are running.  They want children (aged 3-18) to design and create small living gardens, with food to eat for humans and wildlife.  It should provide places for insects to live. It must be finished by 30 June. I started on 10 April, and this project describes the first month.

I designed my garden to include all the things I love in a garden: streams and water, vegetables I wanted to eat, plants I thought wildlife would like, trees to climb, and a house for tiny people (or bugs!)."

Stage 1 - Digging the Plot: "First I had to dig out a 1 metre by 1.20 metre box to make my garden.  I asked my dad for help with that and we got that done as  quick as we could.

We had to take the grass off and take out all the roots that we could.  It took about half an hour, but we ended up with a nice pit. We sieved the soil to remove stones and make it finer. Then I put the soil back in.

Next I had to decide what my Pop Up Pocket Garden was going to look like and have in it.

I decided to have a tree in the back, but it had to be miniature so I went for a box hedge plant, gave it a trim and it’s my tree.  I put it in the top right corner.  Every day I have to give it a good water."

Stage 2 - Planting Seeds: "After I had done the first part I had to plan the veg garden.  In the rules it said there had to be something for you to eat and for animals.

Four days later I planted vegetable seeds.  I planted radishes and carrots (2 rows) and parsley (a herb).  I chose them because radishes grow quickly, and I love carrots.  I am also going to plant runner beans but am starting them off in a pot inside.

Next I planted grass seeds. I had to prepare the patch they were going in by making sure the soil was very smooth, removing final stones and roots.

A few days later, I planted a holly hedge around three sides of the veg patch.  I found the holly seedlings all around my garden and moved them carefully."

Stage 3 - Planting the Willow Hedge: "I planted willow cuttings.  I got them from the river bank.  Me and my mum picked around 20 and took  them home to plant. Willow is meant to grow very easily from sticks.  

We planted them the next day behind where the pond will be.  They have been looking sulky ever since, we hope they perk up.

I’ve also planted out three runner bean plants next to the old spade they will grow up.

We have been watering everything regularly and making sure they’re thriving. After a a few days the willow just looks dead but I hope it will improve if I keep looking after it."

Stage 4 - Pond and Stream: "I created my pond out of an old bucket 26cm diameter.  I dug a deep hole and firmed the soil around the bucket. Later, I worked with my dad to attach a pipe to the pond, this is my stream coming from the welly boot!

I planted three small clumps of chives around the pond, they look like reeds but will  be good for eating and their flowers will be good for bees. 

I will gather plants from around my garden to put round the pond, stream and welly boot.  Along the sides of the plot there are either hedges or I am working with my dad to make fences out of bamboo and string."

Stage 5 - Finishing Touches: "I have collected sea glass and pottery from a local beach and have used this to make a path to lead from the front, past the pond and veg patch and to the tree at the back.  I have added a bug hotel at the back.  It’s made from an old bird box with bamboo rods for the bugs to crawl into.

Behind the tree I’ve made a little compost pile using bamboo and netting.  There’s also a stone for slugs.

I have labelled the veg garden nicely and a sign for the garden.  It’s called Annabel’s Allotment."

Conclusion - 6 Weeks Later: After 6 weeks, so many plants have grown! My radishes all got big and we picked them, the grass grew really well and I’ve had to cut it lots.  The runner beans have little flowers, as does a marigold.  The carrots and parsley are growing well.  The willow plants didn’t survive, but the little holly trees are growing and I’ve trimmed my box tree.

Lots of insects live on the plot.  Under the roof of the insect house, I found a big snail, slugs and spiders.  Bees and butterflies visit the garden, and there are ants and other creatures crawling around in the soil.

Here is a scale drawing of my garden.

This Pop Up Garden is a Coast and Water Garden.  Water is part of our working and industrial heritage from the fishing fleet to the canal transport network, aquaducts, bridges, and the power generated by water mills and modern hydro-electric systems.  Water links the natural world to the heart of our cities.

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