The Beauty Of a Bee-Friendly Garden!
Our bee-friendly flower beds and gardens in the school can provide nature with a home right in the heart of Camden! At Eleanor Palmer we grow plants we can eat and enjoy such as herbs, fruit, vegetables, and edible flowers! The bees love the flowers on these as much as we do! You will see herbs such as sage, thyme, rosemary, and lavender growing. We grow a wide variety of wildflowers, some of which are night scented. These help provide food for night flying moths too, which are now also endangered.
We do not use any chemicals on our plants. Instead, we improve the soil by using our own compost we make at the school. Our compost comes from the school’s garden waste, weeds, and fruit peel; all things that would have otherwise gone to landfill. Children at Eleanor Palmer mainly grow our own plants from seeds and cuttings. This not only keeps down costs but also helps to lessen our damage to the environment. Some of the big, bright flowering bedding plants you see in the shops, often use lots of water, compost and chemicals to get them to grow quickly and cheaply. But bees and butterflies can find their unnaturally complicated flowers difficult to get their pollen and nectar from.
As well as our flower borders, we have an allotment garden with 6 raised growing beds. The children grow a wide variety of fruit and vegetables over the growing season. We always ensure that there are wildflowers and companion plants in the vegetable borders too to draw in the pollinators.
Pre-pandemic we put in a bid to create a wildlife area and compost bays at Eleanor Palmer. We won the award and then everything came to a halt as we went into lockdown. But the project came back to life as the children returned, and last Summer we completed our Wildlife Garden Corridor!
The overgrown area at the back of the music room was cleared and we built 3 new composting bays and a bin for collecting all the leaves around the school to create leaf mould for our soil. We regenerated this neglected area of the playground to provide food and protection for wildlife and to support urban biodiversity. We hope that improving the habitat will attract pollinators, insects and small mammals – we are already seeing this happening!
We have added beautiful signs for all our growing beds to help everyone identify what is growing. There is a small outside seating area for studying nature and wildlife in the garden, allowing us to create a wonderful “outdoor lab” for observation, identification and monitoring. We hope to use this area of the garden even more over the coming seasons!
Outside school we have a noticeboard to update the community about what we are growing and the latest garden news!