School Garden Ideas!
Here are some top school garden ideas to make any school yard an exciting, educational and fun place to be!
Bird boxes are a great way to encourage more birds to your eco garden. With modern camera technology you can set up monitoring cameras to film the raising of chicks which gives the students an amazing learning experience. There are many different types of bird box we recommend you try many types to see what birds will nest in your eco garden.
Hibernaculas are simple structures of thrown together natural or recycled materials to create sanctuary and nesting opportunities for reptiles, amphibians, insects and small mammals. These are very effective at adding height to eco gardens and a place to get rid of landscape maintenance clippings.
Feeding stations can be as simple as a bird table or woodland clearings with surrounding viewing hides to watch larger wildlife during quiet times of the day.
Woodland gardens do not have to have very large trees to create a forest environment. Shady corners with vertical logs, bark chippings and fruit bushes can create very effective woodland habitats in eco gardens.
Wild Flower Meadows
Wild flower meadows are a low energy high biodiversity method of managing grasslands. Our conventional methods of grassland management (grass lawns) are one of the most polluting high energy ways to maintain garden areas. There are different types of meadow seed mixes or meadow turf depending on your site and conditions. Meadows are a great way to encourage wildlife to your school eco garden.
Fruit orchards can create landscape shelter and shade as well as fresh fruit for the school. Orchards can be arranged in a formal structure or incorporated into a more naturalistic eco garden design.
Mini beast hotels
Mini beast hotels are very similar to hibernacula’s but can utilise more recycled materials such as old pallets and bamboo to create nesting sites for solitary wasps, bees and insects.
Outside classrooms can come in a whole range of shapes and sizes. They can consist of a simple overhead cover with seating in a natural area or a grand amphitheatre type of space.
Nature trails are a good way to connect different parts of the school grounds via journey through wild gardens and habitats. These nature journeys can integrate resting areas with viewing dens and woodland gardens.
Edible gardens are a great way to teach children where healthy food comes from. Edible gardens can use more conventional vegetable growing techniques or incorporate more forest, perennial type plantings. All of these can be stationary in the design or a part of a wider school garden journey.
Play mounds and land form incorporate into the school garden will encourage vigorous exploring and exercise. Play mounds are a good way to create enclosure within an eco garden.
Willow tunnels are great fun for children their arching stems can be used to from living tunnels and dens. What is great about willow is year on year it will throw out vertical stems which can be weaved into existing structures or used to create new ones across the school gardens.
Polytunnels give you the advantage of growing exotic crops such as chillies in summer and more conventional crops in winter such as lettuce. There are many smaller types on the market I deal for school gardens.
These are benches placed in school gardens for children trying to make friends. They can be conventional school benches or naturalistic logs placed vertically.
These structures enable you to grow fruiting climbing plants such as pumpkins and grape vines over a walkway or learning area allowing you to enjoy the hanging fruit as you walk by. These can be large or small, linear or cover a large shaded are within an eco garden.
Wildlife Watching Dens
Wildlife watching dens are a great way to view wildlife areas and features as well as encouraging children’s observation skills, patience and sense of spiritual calm. We build custom wildlife viewing hides and dens as well as their placement within the eco garden.
Dessert Herb Gardens
Dry gardens are a great way to make use of dry sunny areas within school gardens. They can incorporate sand pits with boulders and natural features designed to look like desert landscapes. These areas are ideal for growing herbs which like well drained conditions such as rosemary or thyme.
Vertical Growing Towers
Vertical gardens can be a great way to stack growing systems within a school eco garden. This kind of growing tower will either require drought tolerant plants, climbing plants or include some sort of irrigation. Vertical growing towers can be constructed from wire mesh fixed as cylindrical structures or green wall type installations such as the ones below:
Fire has a spiritual energy which captivates our soul in a primal way which was a part of mans earliest separation from the animal kingdom. Connecting with the outside at night time is a fun experience fire pits give the possibility of enjoying a small fire safely within an eco garden.
Natural Play Spaces
Natural play is an ever growing popular form of play for children. With our modern digital forms of entertainment with childhood obesity rising there is lust for older traditional types of play. Playing around natural landscapes like woodlands used to be common place encouraging wild imagination and vigorous physical activities.
School grottos are a fun way for children to experience the outside providing enclosure and shelter. The quirky nature and styles of small grottos in the landscape can provoke imaginative thinking as well as knowledge of alternative building styles. We custom design and build grottos for school eco gardens. You can check out our school grottos page here.
Keeping chickens can be a very educational, fun and rewarding activity for children. Chickens are very good at controlling pests within an eco garden as well as providing fresh eggs and fertiliser.
Raised Vegetable Planters
These are usually built with robust timber sleepers which give both elevation and depth to vegetable areas. They are effective as they prevent continuous bending down while gardening and can provide seating for an eco garden.
Fenced Wildlife Ponds
Wildlife ponds are sometimes a worry for schools fearing they are not safe. If a school wildlife pond is designed correctly within a secure fenced area it can be a interactive educational resource for a school eco garden.
Rain gardens are an exciting way to channel storm runoff from playgrounds and school buildings into manmade streams and wetlands. These can be used in geography and scientific studies as well as creating wetland habitat and features within the school gardens.
Weather stations are fantastic extensions to the school science area or eco garden. They can measure weather variables such as temperature, air pressure, wind direction and rainfall. Here are links to some good school weather stations below:
Sand pits are loads of fun whatever your age the feeling of the grains between your fingers is therapeutic and it can give opportunities for creative play and sculptural art.
Den making as well as being fun allows children to exercise construction skills as well as working with natural materials. Natural crafts such as bushcraft can provoke team building skills allowing constructive social bonds to be made between students.
Camera traps have helped wildlife camera men catch videos of some of the most elusive wildlife on the planet. They have also helped thousands of nature enthusiasts to see what lurks at the bottom of their gardens at night. Camera traps are a great way to survey the wildlife in your school eco garden giving exciting survey material for scientific studies.
School wormeries are both educational and useful for school gardens. Well designed wormeries allow you to add organic, composting waste to the top and harvest rich compost fertiliser from the bottom. Wormeries should have a strengthened see through front such as toughened glass or acetate so worms can be watched recycling waste materials. We custom build school wormeries buy fixing robust timber sleeper composters with a glass sided front. Check out our school wormeries page here.