It is very good to be able to walk round the gardens of St Ethelwold’s House in East St Helen Street. The borders are wonderful at the moment.
I sometimes attend the share a poem group at St Ethelwold’s. Like many of the activities there is usually poster in the front window. The June theme for poems was gardens, and one of the St Ethelwold’s gardeners attended and read some good poems on gardening.
Susie Howard, who does a lot on the garden, told me back in March or April that they would have blue borders, and it is very evident now.
The rain kept off on Tuesday 12th June for the opening of Carswell Community School’s Sensory Garden.
Academic, explorer, television presenter and local celebrity Dr George McGavin officially opened the garden by pulling aside a “ Very Hungry Caterpillar” curtain.
Parents toured the garden as pupils sang and performed a MayPole Dance.
The area’s transformation from derelict concrete and scrub
to a place of magical tranquillity for children and staff has brought together people from all over the community, in a project very much in keeping with the school’s title. Teams from Dalton Barracks, Abingdon Fire Station and the Princes Trust joined staff, parents and neighbours to clear the site, and local businesses contributed compost, wildflower turf, a bug hotel and hard landscaping. Nearly all the garden’s plants have been donated by well-wishers in local churches.
The garden will be used as an outdoor classroom by Key Stage 1 children at the school, for Science, Literacy and R.E.
Designed by teacher Katie David and Rosemary Perrow from TrinityLearning, the garden has winding paths and a rainbow seat, leading on to a dark/light path, where children can discuss the journey of life. The children have planted bulbs and woven a willow shelter to emphasise their role in the community. Many of the school’s children have parents serving at nearby Dalton Barracks and The Forces Covenant provided a Community Award in recognition of the garden’s other role – a place of quiet and reflection for children going through difficult times.
Thanks to Rosemary for update reports and this final report and pictures.
(Thanks to storyteller Rosemary.)
Once upon a time……….
There was a strip of rough ground and concrete between Carswell Community School and Bostock Road.
Then TrinityLearning worked with the school on plans to re-model the area into a sensory garden, which could be used as both an outdoor classroom and a space where the children could sit quietly and reflect. It would have winding paths, a rainbow tree seat and a light/dark tunnel to the story corner.
But to spread the load this had to be a Community Project. Da da da…
A team from 3 Logistic Support Regiment at Dalton Barracks helped with clearing the area. ……..
Parents, teachers and local residents worked together, laying out the design and digging over the soil…
Local businesses, including Oxford Green Roofs, Agrivert, AWBS, Richard Mathews, Merityres & Knights all helped ………….
The next stage (once topsoil & fences have been delivered) is planting. Carswell are hoping to fill the garden with donated plants, so please put aside any excess seedlings or cuttings you may have (especially shade-loving plants – non-toxic, of course!) and pass them on to the school. Donations of seeds, unwanted garden items or cash would also be welcome – please contact Rosemary Perrow on 520282, TrinityLearning@gmail.com if you would like to help.
…… and look out for the Community “Plant-in”!
to be continued …
Going round the open gardens in East St Helen Street today I discovered new views on familiar places …
St Helen’s Church.
The River Thames
The Old Gaol.
The Old Gaol development again. Looks like the underground carpark is in place.
(The Abingdon Diary shows there are Open Gardens this weekend, and one act plays next week.)