Newmains Primary School
Flower Birthday Party
Our Garden celebrates a birthday.
The children discussed what a celebration means to them and overwhelmingly it meant a birthday and of course with that a birthday party. Our garden shows the various aspects that may be included in a birthday party, from the cake to the piñata, from the food to the balloons.
Our Garden not only celebrates a birthday, but it also celebrates the love that the children have of being outdoors, their interest in watching things grow and their desire to help the environment. It celebrates the fact that the children originally thought the school grounds to be dark and gloomy but now with the beautiful flowers and the excitement of the forthcoming harvest, it’s bright and vibrant, turning everyone’s sad faces into smiles.
Growing in tyres
Our garden is full of bright flowers which will attract the bees and butterflies. Following some research, the children decided that they would quite like to see a Chocolate Mining Bee and a Peacock Butterfly visit their garden.
Our garden has many edible items as no party is complete without some party food. There are potatoes to be turned into chips and some herbs are growing at the side which can be used to add extra flavour. There are also strawberries and rhubarb which will be turned into a delicious dessert for the party.
Our garden is made from many recycled materials. The pallet at the back, helping to create the shape, came with the compost delivery on it. The piñata and the balloons are made from milk bottles and are tied to the pallet with cable ties and the birthday cake is painted tyres. To decorate the cake, more milk bottles containing flowers were placed around the edges. Milk bottle tops were strung together to add some extra bunting.
Although we had a plan, we had to improvise along the way. The plan was to have plants growing out the side of the tyres/cake, but the children were unable to make the holes, so we adapted and placed the plants around the edge of the cake. We had originally planned for bluebells to simulate the candles on the cake, but we soon realised that they probably would be passed by the time we came to take photographs and with the added problem of squirrels and foxes digging up the bulbs we decided to use dianthus instead. We also learnt that weeding is a necessity and part of every gardening trip.
Members of the community came along to offer their assistance, helping with the weeding and offering the children some advice. We received donations of strawberry plants from a former parent and the Parent Council also leant their support by providing plants from their own gardens. The staff organised the collection of the milk bottles.
Once the competition is over, the pocket garden will be tended to. The strawberries and potatoes will be harvested but the rhubarb will be there for a few years until it is ready. The bluebell bulbs are buried deep, so hopefully they will appear next year and many of the plants are perennials so should come year on year. The strawberries will produce fruit for future years and cuttings can be taken from the trailers and planted elsewhere within the school grounds. Some of the potatoes will be kept, producing seed potatoes for next year.
The children really enjoyed creating this Pocket Garden. It was their ideas from conception to finished project. They worked on it in all weathers but couldn’t wait until it was time to plant. (They weren’t so keen on the weeding!!!) As the project reached the end, the children’s smiles got bigger and bigger – they can’t wait to share this with their family and friends, as well as entering it into the competition. The children plan to have a birthday party for the Pocket Garden in the coming weeks.
Creating the garden – from design to reality