Macduff Primary School

The Electric Wizard of Macduff

Walford Bodie lived in Macduff 100 years ago. He inspired people like Houdini and Charlie Chaplin with his electric magic. He is not well known out-with our area so the pupils of Macduff Primary are excited to share his story in the form of a garden. His house in Macduff continues to fascinate people as there are rumours of hidden doors and passageways. Our garden designers were Eilidh, Lillie, Emily and Charlie but it soon became a whole class project. We think Bodie was magical and wanted to add magic to our garden.

The Electric Wizard of Macduff

Bird box and bug home

Re-purposed planters

In our garden, the lavender, rosemary and mint smells are magical and calming. The flowers are magical in their ability to attract wildlife. The edible parts all provide us with magical vitamins and nutrients including the vitamin D in the mushrooms, which appeared magically out of the dark! The wildlife friendly aspects are the flowers and plants which attract insects and minibeasts. Some plants were already growing around the school and we transplanted them. The bug hotels attract butterflies, bees and other insects. We have a butterfly water feeder (puddler) and mini bee puddlers too.  We were worried about the lack of trees for birds nesting, after the storms, so we made some nesting boxes from recycled offshore scaffolding boards and have put one in our garden. There is already a bird’s nest on our courtyard roof. One of the bug hotels was made from the scaffolding boards too. Look out for the secret bug homes!

Storm Arwen in November saw trees in our playground destroyed. We wanted to use some of the timber in magical ways! We decided to use a tree trunk as Bodie’s head – he was often photographed with a top hat, so we thought this would make a great planter. We gathered parts of fallen trees for our wildlife friendly areas and bug hotels.

Our planters are mainly repurposed milk cartons. We used both parts, the top inverted, became planter faces (Bodie’s audience) and the bottom part also got used as planters. The inverted planters are great as they drain by turning the caps. We also used tin cans as planters.

The edible parts of the garden came from seeds given to the school by the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative: beans, peas, carrots, kale, nasturtium flowers and lettuce. We got some strawberry runners, turf, chives, rosemary and onions donated from an 85 year old gardener in our community. We also tried to grow mushrooms – they have been very successful. We loved peeking underneath the lid when they were first growing in the dark.

We have learned that constructing a garden is hard work! Not everything grows quickly or goes to plan. It is a lot of fun though and we loved that we re-used lots of things that would have been thrown away. We learned skills of working with wood, designing, gardening, co-operation and patience!

Our garden re-uses things that were going to be thrown away: old pallets, timber from fallen trees, old scaffolding boards, milk cartons and tin cans. A local joiner was able to help us hollow out the tree trunk and we got to do the finishing: sanding and painting.

The garden is in it’s final location in our courtyard. It is mainly used by our nurture hub and will provide a great learning experience for those looking after it. We will hopefully have a picnic of strawberries and salads by July. We have put some magic light bulbs in (they are solar powered lights). We think the moths at night might like these.

The final magical aspect of our garden is the hidden bug hotel drawers. Not all minibeasts like to be in the sun, some like to be in the dark so we have hidden compartments underneath the pallets. We think these are like Bodie’s secret doors in his house. In fact on a rainy day of filming we counted seven snails moving in!

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