Whitehill Secondary School

Whitehill Eco Group’s Incredible Edible Pan-Pollination Celebration of Climate Activism

Our design is a triple celebration of edible plants, pollinators and climate activism. Our design uses edible herbs, all of which flower to attract pollinating insects. Using plants that best fit the colour pattern of the NASA 2022 heat map, we are celebrating climate activism. It is only through the hard work of climate activists across the world that we have a chance of ensuring NASA’s 2099 projection heat map is never realised!

We envisaged a simple raised bed construct that would rely on the beauty and aroma of our chosen plants as well as the natural elegance of our Earth’s continents. All but one plant used (Coreopsis) is edible. The other plants used were lavender, thyme, parsley, sage and kale. 

Our garden is made from wood a and recycled plumbers tubing. We contacted a local joiner company for a donation of wood, we they kindly provided. We borrowed garden tools from our parents and the science department. Our techy teacher also kindly allowed us to use the workshop to built the walls of the bed.

We learned a lot during this project. Many of us had never planted before. Many of us had never tasted some of the herbs (e.g. sage). Building the garden also allowed us to work outdoors and renewed our commitment to making our school more environmentally friendly place to learn and work. We were also helped by our mentor at the RGS, Angela Smith, who gave us advice and set us flower seeds.

A challenge we faced was bringing on the plants enough so we could shape them into the outline of the continents. Time was also an issue as, ideally our flowering plants would need to flower for the full Heat Map effect. We built a construction using tubing and horticultural mesh to try and bring the plants on. Unfortunately, this did not work so the garden is not as full and colourful as we hoped it would be.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed building it and, in many respects, its been a successful project. Our garden has received a lot of attention from teachers and fellow pupils. We have new Eco group members. Our head teacher has agreed to allow us to expand the garden across a 10 square meter plot. We’ve started thinking about design and what recycled material we can use. For example, we’ve been given old filing cabinets by the janitor to use as planters. Furthermore, complimenting the garden will be a series of wildflower meadows located around the school grounds. This will be carried by our S2 cohort, with our help, as part of their John Muir Award.

Garden design

Creating the garden - from design to reality

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