Park Primary School
In this Picnic for All, we see the tranistion from the sea to the land leading to a local monument, McCaig's Tower, and celebrating the birds that are found here. Local materials are celebrated too - Easdale slate is used to make the tower. This Pocket Garden provides a wildlife friendly, whole meal menu using harvests from the sea, through the shore to the land. Mussels and spring onions, salads, vegetables and seafood, and a dandelion and dill juice all sound delicious!
This Pocket Garden starts with a frame made from reclaimed pallet wood. Plants are piled up in plastic fishing boxes to give the garden height. The back of the garden is a replica of local monument, McCaig's Tower, and is made with Easdale slate. The windows in the tower are made with plastic bottles that are painted with local seabirds to look like stained glass. The fish hanging from the garden frame are handmade by pupils and filled with lavender. Crab shells and scallop shells decorate the plant boxes.
Coming from the coastal town of Oban, Park Primary School is surrounded by the sea. Pupils at the school are extremely proud of the area they belong to and the pupils were keen to demonstrate the beauty Oban has to offer, from iconic monuments, abundance of sea life, luscious fields aplenty, majestic wildlife and rugged mountains.
Primary 7 pupils have been peer gardening with children from our school nursery each week, planting, weeding, growing, collaborating, discussing and learning.
They knew that they could not build this garden by themselves, so they enlisted the help of others. They sought advice from a local artist on how to add more colour into our design and she suggested the children sew fish and stuff them with the relaxing smell of lavender. The hanging fish are to represent the thriving West Coast fishing industry as well as the amazing source of food it provides for all.
P7 pupils invited a variety of experts from the local community who earn their living through food in the environment to come and speak to them. They were lucky enough to receive advice from the recently retired head gardener of Arduaine Gardens, a representative from Scottish Sea Farms, a student from the Scottish Association for Marine Science and a local film maker. Pupils said that their wee town is a true community that is full of resourceful people who are more than willing to help.
Constructing McCaig's Tower
Park Primary Pocket Garden Crew
Original garden design
Pupils' learning about local birds
Detail of birds painted to look like stained glass windows.
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.