One of the barriers to school gardening projects is the requirement to keep plots and planted containers watered – especially during the school holidays. However, help is at hand from watering specialist, Hozelock who say this hurdle can be overcome in just five minutes by using its Aquapod automatic drip irrigation system. To prove the point, a Berkshire school will be creating an Aquapod-sustained playground garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Hozelock will also be mounting demonstrations on their own Chelsea stand and at other UK gardening shows – and they intend to make subsidised Aquapod systems available to every school in the country.
With Hozelock’s help, the system has been used to get an outdoor learning project off the ground at Ranelagh School in Bracknell. Pupils at the school – which was founded exactly 300 years ago by Lord Ranelagh whose London estate would later play host to the Chelsea Flower Show – will recreate their automatically watered ‘Learning to Grow’ exhibit as part of The Sun’s four plot display in the Great Pavilion (Stand No GP C/17).
Project leader Alison Moore hopes that the low-maintenance show garden will encourage many other schools to venture into out-of-classroom learning projects. “The Aquapod system meant that we could leave the children’s plants unattended for six weeks in the summer, during which time they flourished,” she said. “The pupils – and the teachers – were stunned to see how the plants had thrived during such a long period of neglect and how brilliantly they lit up an otherwise drab tarmacadam playground.”