Rosneath Primary School Entry 2

Sakura-Under the Blossom Tree

Our Garden celebrates new life and new beginnings along with the Japanese Blossom Festival. P4/5 chose this theme as they have been studying Japan and were very enthusiastic about the culture and festivals. We have a much beloved Cherry Blossom tree in the school grounds which we enjoy each year and the children wanted to have their own Blossom Festival to celebrate it is beauty. We wanted to create our pocket garden beside the tree and grow the garden as part of our celebration.

Bee bath

Bath filled with plants

Clematis blooms

Our garden has a fabulous bug hotel behind the bath on the shady side, a bee bath in the centre, a bird bath which is fed with fresh water from our wooden gutter on one side of the bath. Beautiful tea-cup bird feeders are hanging from the willow frame. These are inspired by the Japanese Tea Ceremonies traditionally had under the blossom trees during Hanami (blossom viewing). There is a tiny coconut shell bird house hanging up in the willow hoop. We have planted several flowering plants to attract pollinators including lavender, borage, chamomile, mint, thyme, clematis and strawberries.

Edible parts of the garden are strawberries, peas, nasturtiums, potatoes, rhubarb, thyme, rosemary, mint, chamomile, white and blue borage, and milk thistle.

Our most impressive reused feature is the claw foot bath-tub which is so beautifully painted by P4/5 children. They chose to depict a sunset scene with the silhouette of a Japanese crane and a cherry blossom branch. It looks stunning as the focal point. We have used old tea-cups as bird feeders, a tea-pot as a planter, recycled plastic bottles as hanging strawberry planters, an old tin bucket as a potato planter, old enamel camping bowls for the bird and bee bath and we used an old pallet to make a bench to sit and enjoy garden.

While creating the garden we learned about growing from seed, some trial and error! We learned what our plants need to grow and thrive. Some children learned woodworking skills as they made the wooden rakes for the sand in the Zen garden. We all learned to work together as a team, share our ideas and encourage one another as we worked together; from the initial design and planning stage, to building and creating the final product.

A favorite part for many of the children is the wooden gutter collecting water for the bird bath. They had great fun planning the angle of the wood and position of the bird bath and testing the run with marbles first then water. Some children particularly like the bench to sit on and the mindful act of raking sand in the Zen garden.

After the competition has ended our garden will grow and thrive as we care for the plants, enjoy the harvest and ensure the wildlife habitats are maintained. The children from all classes have loved the sand play in the Zen garden in front of the bath and this will certainly remain as a feature.

When the blossom tree was in full show the children planned and enjoyed their own festival which involved making a Sakura syrup drink made from the petals which was consumed as part of a gratitude ceremony. They also baked cherry blossom shortbread and played traditional Japanese games. We hung our Japanese fish which we made from reusing plastic bags and bottles and worked a little on our pocket garden as part of the fun.

Garden Design

Creating the garden – from design to reality

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