We all know that plants need water to thrive, so really we couldn’t complain too much with the sporadic showers that accompanied us on our visit to RHS Bridgewater with Prep III today as we know how much good the plants were getting from it.. We were met by Petra, and our first activity to was assess the practical good that plants do for the world. Joey had modelled Earth for us, and the expansion of cities and vehicles, the chopping down of trees and the gradual heating of the atmosphere certainly focussed our minds on the good that plants can do to redress the negative things humans have done. The absorption of water, production of food thus limiting the need for vehicle emissions delivering produce, shelter for insects and pollinators… the children came up with plenty of suggestions as to the value of plants.
Splitting into groups, we then investigated the COP26 gardens, where we looked at a variety of different gardens – some with AstroTurf and paving, some with living roofs and water butts, some with plants for arid conditions, some with ponds… The children’s job was to rank each garden feature as to how good it was for the garden. Interestingly, there was a consensus that gardens with lots of trees and plants were clearly best, and that AstroTurf was a bit of a no no for gardens. What was good to hear were the groups discussing and justifying their decisions.
Having assessed all the positive features, the children’s job was to design their own garden, incorporating the positive features they had decided on. All the groups produced excellent Lego designs, although the 20ft Harry Potter was certainly going to cause a stir. We then planted seeds of our own, which will be coming home soon.
After lunch, we went on a plant hunt through the gardens, searching for plants on our list – a little tricky at the moment as there aren’t many fruits and vegetables to see just yet. Potatoes and courgettes were elusive, although both can be seen in the Prep garden and so we can catch up with them back in school. A walk through the woods, and then no visit to the RHS is complete without a session in the Woodland Play Area.
A great day out – and we suspect there might be some tired children this evening (and we won’t even mention the staff!).