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Dunoon Grammar School

A lighthouse garden by the shore shines a light on the plants and animals of our coasts, using materials found on a beach clean.  Follow the path from the lighthouse down to the shore in this coastal garden. Objects found on a real beach have been reused to create the garden features. A foreshore full of coastal plants good for wildlife and people is balanced by a shingle beach with driftwood and seaweed.  There's also an inspiring message on the back of the garden.

Reuse Reduce Recycle

Bottle top messages

Save Our Sea

The frame of the garden is made from reclaimed wood, cut to look like the bow of a ship.  Inside, is a coastal garden made from objects found on beach cleans.  Starting at the lighthouse made from plastic pots, you can see the hill the lighthouse is standing on is made from plant stalks and rocks, with a path made from found tile pieces.  Found plant pots full of grasses and flowers line the edges of the garden with rocks for drainage. The cliff edge is made from pieces of wood and bark with piles of shells, beach glass and rocks making up the shore. 

There is a piece of netting hanging on the side of the garden and fishing rope along the outside.  The outside of the garden asks us to Reuse Reduce and Recycle and Save Our Seas with messages spelled out in bottle tops.  There is also bunting made from scrap paper decorating the inside of the garden.  If you look closely you can spot a message in a bottle and a secret cave.

Bottle and cave

What creature is this?

Lighthouse garden

Stacked pot lighthouse

Pupils broke up pallets to make the base and sides for the garden and planted seeds that wildlife and humans like to eat. They spent a lot of time cleaning the local beach looking for items that might be useful to reuse in the garden.  They also wrote letters to ask school staff for plant donations and to local companies for help with transport.  

Community members collected plastic bottle tops to make a mural for the side of the garden. Pupils want people to stop plastic ending up in the sea and are very interested in reusing their garden once the display at Gardening Scotland has finished. One pupil had a great idea to turn the lighthouse into a bug hotel so the group is now looking into what bugs like to live in and what kinds of insects might be attracted to their garden. Below is the original design sent in by pupils.

Choosing a design

Garden creators

Breaking up pallets

Below is the original design sent in by pupils.  Pupils at Dunoon Grammar School Learning Centre spent time learning about different types of garden habitat and then voted to choose one to design for the Pocket Garden Design Competition. The Coastal Garden category was the category pupils liked best.  

They looked through all their coastal garden design ideas and chose the most common and best features from each one. Pupils spend time learning about plants that are found in coastal gardens around Scotland. All of this went into the final design that was entered into the competition.  The Learning Centre celebrated this work with a display in the corridor for the whole school to see and when pupils found out their design was chosen as one of the winning entries their photograph was put on the school Facebook page and in the local paper. 

This Pocket Garden is a Coastal Garden. With an 18,000km long coastline and more than 790 islands, Scotland has lots of different types of habitat along its shores including the machair - a blend of coastal habitat, people and grazing livestock unique to Scotland and Northern Ireland. Coastal gardens can show the transitions between land and sea, fresh and salt water, calm or stormy seas. As well the machair, you can find sand dunes, mudflats, cliffs, saltmarsh and saline lagoon, each adapted to the challenges of coastal life and strong salty winds. Coastal garden inspiration here

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