RHS Campaign For School Gardens, Chatsworth Flower Show

Mayflower Primary School’s sensory garden, It All Makes Sense, was one of my favourite corners of the Chatsworth Flower Show 2019. If there’s a child in your life, you might like to take some inspiration from these recycled tin cans, painted with cheerful motifs. Pop a herb or a flower in one and you have a tiny garden to enjoy, with potential lessons in art, the environment, nature, nurturing and cookery along the way.

While my secondary school had a small greenhouse, I only have the vaguest memories of going inside it. We never did anything as exciting as making a garden for one of the RHS flower shows. I love it when I see some of the kids who have been involved at the shows, proud of what they’ve achieved and excited to explain to visitors what they were thinking about in this or that part of the garden.

I’m one of the lucky ones. Although my schooldays preceded the RHS Campaign For School Gardens by decades, my childhood was filled with small lessons like these as part of family life. Caterpillars in jars that turned into butterflies. Rose petal scented water. A succulent that grew in a pattern. Owl pellets to pull apart, looking for bones. Flowers to plant. Potatoes to dig (well before their time as we were too excited to wait). Pebbles to pick out of streams. A bat cave to explore. Continue reading “RHS Campaign For School Gardens, Chatsworth Flower Show”

Momentary Focus: A Child Runs Through A Grotto

Child Running Through A Grotto

The Family Garden at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centre in Austin, Texas is one of the best children’s gardens I’ve visited. Last time we were there, I had a flash of good fortune.

The waterfall and the tiled cave walls of the grotto attracted me as subject matter, but my composition lacked focus. As I took a half-comittted shot, a child ran past the curtain of water, adding motion and colour, and embodying what this part of the garden is all about.   Continue reading “Momentary Focus: A Child Runs Through A Grotto”