school garden

I have been asked to design a wildlife friendly garden in a woodland site that has no toxic plants in it. It is for a school so all plants must be safe. I have been looking at native plants & all seem to be toxic in some way. Please help

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Posts

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,257

    If you have to do this then you could stick to edible plants and veg. Trouble is most of them want sun.

    I was taught from an early age that many plants are poisonous and should not be eaten.  Maybe that is the way forward.  A  non toxic world would be nice but it's not reality.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,759

    Oh dear, isn't a school about educating children?  Many native plants have some levels of toxicity - I grew up in the countryside and we were taught from a young age which plants we should not eat and which we could suck the nectar from (primroses and cowslips).  We went on Nature Walks where we were shown what was what.  We had holly and ivy to decorate the school at Christmas, but they are toxic, and picked bunches of daffodils in the spring, but they're toxic too.  

    Sorry, that's probably not very helpful - but education is not about wrapping children in cotton wool - and I know it's not your fault - sorry. image

     

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Moira 2Moira 2 Posts: 5

    Thank you for your comments but I have a tight brief. The area is wooded & I cannot use plants that are toxic. Again help me!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,759

    Primroses and violets to start with then.  

    Woodruff

    Dog rose - rosa canina on the edges where it can get some sunshine, 

    Blackberry - ditto

    Woodland strawberry - Fragaria vesca - again where they can get some sunshine

    White and purple deadnettles

    I shall carry on thinking ............................

     

     Do you have room for some shrubs?

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,250

    honeysuckle, that can be sucked as well.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,759

    But the berries are poisonous image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,250

    are they? I've never tried one  

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    Moira someone somewhere is going OTT!  I don't imagine the children are going to eat the plants are they?

    I'm not sure what you mean by toxic.  Most country children survive surrounded by "toxic" plants.

    I have to say your post actually makes me rather cross.  Perhaps your pupils would be safer in a concrete yard!

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,257

    Maybe thats because you had more sense, Nutcutlet.

    But you have to be taught the difference between Mushrooms and toadstools. You can't find out by trial and error.

    Rhubarb leaves are full of oxalic acid, but we still eat rhubarb. Education should teach about the bad things as well as the good.  I agree with dove, you can't wrap kids in cotton wool. Better to learn in a safe environment than assume everything is safe and find out too late that it's not.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,759

    I work on a site where children with moderate and severe learning disabilities come to stay for respite - the gardens are lovely (if a bit overgrown) and were planted long ago with lots of interesting plants, including laurel, honeysuckle, foxgloves, daffodils, crocus, crocosmia, holly, ivy, hydrangeia petiolaris, dogwood, etc etc etc.  

    As I said the children who come to us have moderate and severe learning disabilities, including challenging behaviours such as pica http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/learning/pica.php.  

    We haven't poisoned any yet image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
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