Ralston Primary School

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch Garden

Our gardening group wanted to make a garden based on The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch storybook. We liked the idea of making a mini cottage garden to see what plants we could grow to eat, and we wanted to learn how to grow plants from seeds and cuttings. We were also inspired by the many seagulls which come to our school playground to see what they can get to eat at lunchtime.

Mrs Grinling's cottage garden

The lighthouse

Lunch is on its way

In the story the Lighthouse Keeper gets his lunch delivered on a rope from his cottage and the seagulls steal it! Even putting Hamish the cat in the lunch basket doesn’t stop them. Eventually, Mrs Grinling puts mustard in the sandwiches, and this finally gets rid of the gulls.

Recycled materials were used to make our cottage and base. We learned how to measure, saw and hammer to create the platform. We also used old containers, bubble-wrap, unwanted gift baskets, sea-glass and shells. Our handmade seagulls are also made of recycled t shirt yarn and yoghurt pots.

Most of the plants we used in our garden were  grown from cuttings or seed by the garden group who have been busy learning how to raise and care for plants. The Grinling’s cottage contains orange and purple wildlife friendly plants like Chives, Calendula and Nasturtium as well as Dwarf broad beans to attract bees to our garden. The zip line rope above the cottage should give the climbing plants some support in our windy playground. We tried to make lots of our flowers orange like Hamish the ginger cat in the story. (He is also sitting at the cottage window too!)

The garden is split into sections- The cottage and garden area, the “sea” mini pond with pebble beach, the lighthouse strawberry tower, the lunch basket and the “waves” around the lighthouse. Our “sea” is a mini pond with a pebble, seaglass and shell beach area to help the birds and beasties climb in and out. The lighthouse tower made of old plastic containers is where we are growing strawberries. We wanted to make the area around the lighthouse look like waves, so we used trailing plants like Alyssum and Verbena. Mrs Grinling’s cottage garden is where we are growing Spinach, Chard, Parsley, Radish, Spring onions, Chives, Thyme and Lettuce. Finally, the lunch basket contains mustard, which was a big surprise to the garden group who didn’t realise this was a plant before we started this project!

The whole garden will be planted with wildflower seeds like cornflower to keep the flowers going after the initial flowers have finished. We are also going to refresh the vegetables once we have eaten them with Autumn hardy crops.

We are proud of our garden and had lots of fun making it. We are already planning more story gardens for our school playground.

There are two seagulls hiding in the garden - can you spot them?

Someone hiding?

Maybe another one?

Tasty lunch

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