Anna Ritchie School
A stream tumbles down a waterfall and flows past woodland trees, meadow flowers, field crops and a vegetable garden bordered by a herb hedge. Just like the water cycle, the water flow here is created by solar power. A mountain stream, powered by a solar pump, flows down to a loch. The plants change as we come down the mountain to find a meadow blooming beside a loch and a herb hedge around a garden with vegetables including carrots, radish, beetroot and lettuce and edible flowers.
Pupils grew as many of their plants as possible in the school garden and greenhouse and sourced any specialist plants they required from local nurseries. They make their own compost at the school and used this as their growing medium.
The mountain was constructed from reused polystyrene painted to resemble rocks, with planting pockets for alpine plants. The waterfall and stream are fed from a reservoir below the mountain and a solar powered pump circulates the water.
After the waterfall, the stream meanders down the hillside eventually ending in a loch. The steam passes through a mixed forest of native trees, wild flower meadow and a garden bordered by herb hedging.
The trees are all seedlings grown at the school. In the garden, one plot contains vegetables and the other edible flowers.
All planting is done in reused containers and the whole garden was built in sections for ease of transport. Pupils made minibeasts from reused materials to attract the real thing.
To the right is the original garden design sent in by pupils.
This Pocket Garden is a Wetland or Fresh Water Margin Garden. These designs are inspired by the flowing water of a torrential mountain burn, the still waters of our lochs and lochans or Scotland's wetlands where the ground holds the water like a sponge in bogs, fens, marshes and wetland meadows. Wetlands help to filter and clean our fresh water, reduce flooding and store huge amounts of carbon as well as supporting wildlife. For wetland wisdom look here, here and here.