School garden on show
Stirling High pupils’ efforts transform teaching aid to outdoor extravaganza
It started out purely as a teaching aid for pupils but, two years later, the Stirling High School garden is gearing itself up to take part in its first ever garden show.
Started in 2016 by the school’s Eco Club in the quad area, one of the two overseeing teachers, John Marias, said the main aim of the garden was to teach pupils about different plant types and how to take care of them.
Starting out as barren patches of grass sprouting between the tar, the indigenous garden now boasts a variety of different plants which include pink sage bush, natal plum, yellow strelitzia, carpet geranium, fynbos, erica and the Protea – to name a few.
Not only are each of the different plants labelled but the garden comes complete with information boards which are strategically placed on the walls bordering the quad. The boards detail the plant’s abiotic factors, location and threats.
The garden also has several benches where pupils can sit and bond with nature.
Another feature is a wetland, a miniature pond which comes complete with reeds and a variety of different aquatic plants.
According to Marias, funding for the garden came from a variety to different sources. The square boxes – built to accommodate the plants and placed throughout the quad – were donated by the 2015 matric class as their gift to the school.
Many of the plants were donated by parents, with the rest coming from the pupils. The wetland was constructed with money raised by the Eco Club.
“The first year we started this as a project, each child in Grade 10 who does life science was given a particular plant, and they had to write a report about it, and if they were able to get that plant then they could bring it and plant it in the garden,” Marias said.
“Now we use the garden for teaching. Often the kids are given a project and they must come into the quad, read the plant information from the wall, go and look for the particular plant in the garden and then write about it.”
This year the garden will be one of those on show in the annual Pam Golding Garden Show from 10-11 November.
“Last year someone told me that I should open up the garden as part of the Pam Golding Garden Show and I said ‘yes’. So I contacted them and got on board, which is great,” Marias said.
COLOURFUL DISPLAY: Stirling High School transformed its quad into a beautiful garden with an array of fine plant species.