Our design process involved looking at photos of small gardens we have designed in the past for Gardening Scotland, looking at the competition brochure provided, discussing the required parts of the design brief, talking about what nature means to us and doing lots of drawing. The more children drew the more their ideas seemed to come. I listened carefully to what was being said.
A river, woods and a park
Summerside Nursery is located in Trinity/Warriston in Edinburgh. Being outside is important to the children and the staff and we have many places to choose from for our visits to green spaces. Victoria Park and the surrounding walkways are accessed most days, as are other local parks and small urban woodlands alongside the old railway lines. We also have our own allotment which is visited three times a week for growing, gardening jobs and nature play. The walk to the allotment involves walking alongside The Waters of Leith River. The children often go on trips to look at the ducks on the river.
Our design is focused on the Waters of Leith and two of our local green spaces-Victoria Park and the woodland walk alongside the river. The children have used these spaces a lot through lockdown.
The children spoke about the enjoyment that collecting things from nature brings them ( they understand that only small amounts of things can be collected and nothing picked), these items are often used for crafts. We have therefore added some collecting baskets to our design.
We are aware of the need to reuse and up cycle items, and we have lots of wood from our old shed which we can use. as much as possible will be reused or borrowed items.
The planting for the riverside of the design will use native plants which are edible. These will not be gathered from the wild but hopefully can be found and grown on at our allotment, or obtained from a local community garden. We would like to use such plants as -Yarrow, wild garlic, borage, daisies, shepherds purse, Bittercress, wild strawberries, plantain and dandelions.
We hope to be able to construct the tree and the rainbow at the back of the design out of wire and old plastic bags, and present them in quite a stylised form.