Stunning garden design: how a long-established organic school garden has recently been developed
Featured in many leading publications and websites, including Garden Organic and The English Garden, Llandogo Primary School is renowned for leading the way in creating learning opportunities through play and in bringing the class room out of doors.
Its organic garden has been in operation for over ten years, producing school grown crops for the children to taste in school, promoting a joy of healthy eating, developing cooking skills and entrepreneurial ability when selling extra produce at the school gates.
With support from the Big Lottery Fund, Monmouth Housing Association and from the local community, the original garden has now been refreshed and landscaped to provide a haven for creative gardening and to provide a reflective zone for music, art and poetry.
The new garden includes a sculptural dry stone wall, snaking across the grounds, designed to reflect the nearby River Wye as it meanders past Llandogo, its pools reflected in planting areas designed specifically for little fingers to push into.
This is a stunning backdrop for the school and provides a creative learning area for the school and local playgroup, Llandogo Early Years, and for the communities of Llandogo and Tintern to enjoy as they pass by.
This project has always had its roots in the community, using local stone to build a wall reflecting the local landscape, learning about Llandogo’s historical past and working with local experts in a sustainable manner. The school has been supported to realise the dream initiated by Mrs Roberts and her Year 5 and 6 class by local resident Jane McIntosh, who has been the driving force behind the new garden that we enjoy today. Jane has been seconded by her employers Monmouth based CMC Partnership, who specialise in providing experienced and highly skilled business change and project managers to organisations across the UK. CMC also likes to support and assist charitable projects whenever they can, especially in their local community.
Thanks also go to the teaching and support staff, especially Karen, Rachel and Sam, who, with their families, worked tirelessly, often late at night and at weekends preparing the grounds for the building of the dry stonewall, by local experts Stonescapes, and for turf laying by local suppliers The Walcott’s.
The garden was formally opened in July this year by Paul Matthews, CEO of Monmouthshire County Council, with many of the representatives who have assisted in making this project an outstanding success. Mrs Roberts was also presented with a very special commendation in the Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School, shortlisted from 22,000 nominations. An amazing achievement.
With the opening of the new school garden Llandogo Primary School aims to develop and build even greater opportunities for their pupils to learn new skills for the future, the world and community in which we live.
For more information about Llandogo and its organic garden please contact Rachel Dare, Head Teacher on 01594 530388 www.llandogo.monmouthshire.sch.uk. To find out how CMC Partnership can help you or your business please contact 01600 740215 www.cmcpartnership.com