Harrysmuir Primary School

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Edible Garden

Our garden is based on the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The garden includes a waterfall made from recycled Christmas chocolate tubs to keep the chocolate theme, even if we couldn't have real chocolate in the waterfall. An old banner was used to create a cover for the basket base. We included quotes from the book and film versions of the story. 

Chocolate tub waterfall

Everything is edible

Home for a hedgehog

The group that came up with the idea and created the design are from P4 and are known as the Outdoor Learning Friendship Group; it had six members at the start with another person joining in the latter stages of the build. 

The group looked at a lot of books they liked and eventually agreed on the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They felt it was a story they all knew well and enjoyed. They wanted to recreate the scene in the book where there was a garden with a chocolate river flowing through it. One member of the group brought her idea of how the garden would look to our first meeting, we really liked it and decided to go with it.

To create the garden we used an old pallet we found at school. We attached it to a fence in our school garden to ensure it was stable. We also had plastic supermarket trays/baskets. We measured the baskets and found we could use four in our design. For the river we used an old plastic planter. We lined all of the baskets and the planter with old liner we reclaimed from another part the school garden. To hide the side of the baskets we cut a banner, that was no longer needed, in half and painted a quote from the book as well as bees, butterflies and flowers.

Another of our group wanted to incorporate some sort of tube/pipe that water could go down like a waterfall so we decided to use the plastic containers that had sweets in them at Christmas time.  A hole was cut into them and a pipe inserted and sealed. The pipe was made from an old hula hoop that was broken. The waterfall will top up the river using rain water.

We already had quite a few packets of seeds that were donated by The Conservation Volunteers as part of our Green Gym initiative. The children went through them all and selected those that they thought would look like sweets or smell like sweets and of course were edible.  One of the group came up with the idea that we could cut a water melon in half, fill it with compost and plant violas or pansies. The water melon would eventually rot away and provide food for the plants inside. The inside of the water melon was cut up and shared with the rest of the P4 class. The plants used in the garden are: nasturtiums; violas; pansies; lavender; fennel; curly parsley; spinach; wild strawberries; marigolds; chives; borage and purple broccoli. All of the plants used produced something edible.  The group planted the seeds and waited for things to grow. We did add a few additional plants that were further on in their growth than our school grown ones such as the lavender, fennel, marigolds, violas and pansies. We also decided to add to our original design some peppermint for its smell, thrift because it looks like lollipops and some green beans because the children liked the idea of the pods hanging down later in the summer.

To encourage wildlife to the garden we added a small bee house on the top of our pallet and to our amazement within a few days of it being there we photographed a bee going in and out of one of the holes. To encourage more insects we decided to add Marjoram to our original plan and a clump was given to us from an established garden. We know that once the Marjoram begins to flower it will attract many bees and insects.  We hope butterflies will also be attracted by the scents of the lavender and the yellow of the marigolds. The planter that contains the river in our design will provide birds and insects with water to drink. This water is topped up when it rains by water running down through the sweet box waterfall. We can use the water for the plants too. When we finished the garden we realised there was a little nook in front of the river planter and we placed an old roof tile over it and put some leaves in so a hedgehog could use it for a place to sleep. We did have a hedgehog in the garden last year so fingers crossed it will like this space.

We will keep the pocket garden going and use the things we grow as part of our school’s food technology class and perhaps have a go at the One Planet Picnic. We will invite the other classes in the school to come and have a look at what we have done and hopefully inspire them to have a go at gardening themselves.

This is what the group said about being part of their Pocket Garden project:

‘It was really good; I liked creating things and doing the gardening. I also liked the hedgehog house.’

‘I loved it! It was fun because we planted flowers and we were doing outdoor activities.’

‘I liked it because I enjoy outdoor learning and loved the book theme.’

‘Reading has been my passion since I was young and this has been such an adventure for me.’

Looks good enough to eat

Cosy bug hotel

Fill your world with books

Garden Design

Creating the garden - from design to reality

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