Buchanhaven Primary School
Celebrating our Scottish Queens
Our Gardening Club consists of approximately 10 children, predominantly P1 and P2, all of whom have been really excited to be involved in our school's first ever entry for the competition! We meet weekly after school and have been keen to plant a range of wild flowers and plants to help encourage more wildlife into our playground, as well as growing plants that we can eat.
At the beginning of 2023, when we started to think about our entry, there were 2 clear contenders for Scottish legends/ inspirational figures to base our Celebratory Garden on- Nessie and Queen Elizabeth II, We decided on the title of our garden to be ‘Celebrating our Scottish Queens’.
Recycled tyre Nessie
Regal purple flowers
Our first Scottish Queen, is Nessie. The loch Ness monster is such a famous Scottish legend, the children felt couldn’t have a garden without her! We spent some time thinking about how we could create her, and managed to recycle some small tyres to help to create her famous curves, with a repurposed bottle as her head. Across her body we have sunk in edible pea plants to help recreate her scales, which we can pick and eat. To represent Loch Ness, we have chosen a combination of blue and purple flowers aimed at encouraging pollinators: such as cornflower, chives, lobelia and comfrey and forget-me-nots, and pansies.
Queen Elizabeth II, has had such a close ties with Aberdeenshire, and Granny to the nation, the P1s and P2s were particularly keen to include her in our design. We thought hard about how we could represent her- and felt creating a living wall ‘stamp’, planting her image in strawberries would not only provide something deliciously edible and attract the pollinators, but also represent her as the Queen of Hearts. Hopefully we can share the strawberries with the rest of our classes later in the year! We managed to get a handy Dad to create a frame for the bottle wall to sit in and asked the school to donate empty bottles that we could fill and plant with strawberries. The Head was made from a recycled food poster from a restaurant.
All Queens need a Castle! We got some help from a crafty parent to make ‘Bugmoral Castle’ a fairytale insect habitat, repurposing bits of Pallet to create a safehaven for our new residents. It is filled with range of bug friendly natural resources like pine cones, sticks, bark and leaves which we collected from a local garden.
One pupil had the wonderful idea of planting a crown! Thanks to a clever Dad, we were able to make one using curved metal rings made from a recycled barrel to create a spherical ‘balloon’ crown shape. We hope it will be the perfect plant support for the nasturtiums and petunias- in regal purple and gold. Trailing bacopia represents all the pearls on her crown. Hanging tea cups filled with bird food allows our feathery friends to enjoy the garden too.
As our Pocket Garden is about Scottish Queens, the group wanted to grow thistles for Scotland. We managed to get some donated Teasel and Sea Holly plants. Their flowers are shaped like thistles and we discovered that the birds and insects love them as they provide a winter food source! The children were keen to include sunflowers as they are another food source and a favourite flower in the gardening group! Unfortunately, it has taken several attempts to stop the flowers from ‘bolting’ in our hot classrooms.
Behind Nessie, on the banks of the ‘Loch’, in front of Queen Elizabeth and Bugmoral Castle, we have planted green edibles, such as rocket, salad greens, onions, and mint and coriander.
The group have really enjoyed working with other children from throughout the school to plan, plant, build and nurture the Garden, as well taking home any extra little plants that haven’t been needed! We’ve enjoyed getting our hands muddy and planting seeds and bulbs to get ready for the competition. We have created Pocket Garden in pots, so the plants we’ve grown can be spread throughout the school to add some more colour and hopefully encourage more wildlife to visit our playgrounds.
Creating the garden – from design to reality