When it is pouring down with rain, we often say it is good for the plants, but it wasn’t quite so good for our excited gardeners as we made our way through the showers to the RHS Garden Bridgewater. Fortunately, the showers were not too heavy and within a short time of our arrival they stopped altogether.
Off to our tour. We started with a fruits and vegetable hunt in the Peel Learning Garden before moving on to the Kitchen Garden. Armed with a list of plants to find, Izabella proved to have the keenest eyes for the crops, using her own knowledge of plants to spot those we were looking for – a close eye was needed though to make sure she wasn’t sampling the produce. Occasionally, a little bit of help was required. “It begins with a letter ‘P'” said Mr. Suter. “Radishes?” enquired Oliver. Hmmn…
Having a small group in the gardens meant that we were able to visit areas that we would not possibly normally go to. Beatrice noticed that the RHS have chickens and a sign indicated that one of them was indeed called Beatrice. So off we trotted. We couldn’t quite work out which was which, although one of them did seem a little noisier than the others (!). We also managed a tour through the greenhouses in the Paradise Garden, where we were surprised to find lemons, peaches, apricots and melons to tick off our list.
We headed off to the Chinese Streamside Garden for lunch, enjoying a pleasant view across the lake while we munched our sandwiches. If you want any advice on the National Lottery, ask Ying Wun, as a bird ‘deposited’ on her seat just as she was about to sit on it – apparently it’s lucky! Leonard was slightly perturbed when a mother duck brought her five ducklings from the lake past his feet – it turned out she was leading them to a lower pond and was not, after all, after his sandwich.
After lunch, we walked through the Lower Middle and Upper Middle Woods, using our Woodland Trust leaf identification sheet to see what kinds of trees were growing there – we did find a very mixed variety. We did stop in the ‘Once upon a time…’ chair, where Mr. Suter started a story, and then the children had to continue it when it was their turn to sit in the chair. He wasn’t quite sure what he had done to upset them, however, as in the story he ended up falling in the lake and drowning! To round off the day, we headed for the Woodland Play area, which was quickly turned into Queen Florence’s Palace – Mr. Suter was slightly concerned to hear Lady in Waiting Ruby calling for a paramedic, but it turns out that it was only because Luca had been hung, drawn and quartered at the Queen’s insistence!
The gardens were lovely, the sun did shine, and the children have made several suggestions from their observations at the RHS as to things that we could bring back to our own school garden – although we are yet to see how Mr. Rooney takes to the idea of us having chickens! A great day out and, as we would expect, the children were impeccably behaved. Thank you to the RHS for hosting us.