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School - Planters

bry4bry4 Posts: 2

I am part of the site management team at a local Junior School, we have 5 large planters on the playground that are no longer in use.  When the school opened 3 years ago they were filled with long grasses etc but have not been looked after and now look unsightly.  We have an eco zone where the kids get to learn about plants and trees and they plant potatoes etc. I would like to get help as to what is best to plant that looks good all year round whilst helping the occasional Bee or other animal out without the risk of bringing harm to children, any ideas?  I have tried online resources but I'm at a loss to know whats best etc.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks in Advance - Brian


  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489

    Are the planters large enough for small fruit trees? 

    You would have the spring blossom and the bees followed by fruit. . . . educating the children about where fruit comes from.

    SW Scotland
  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,871

    I love the fruit tree idea as it would give interest and learning all year round. Wild flowers could be another option as insect-friendly plus very cheap to sow from seed.

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • bry4bry4 Posts: 2

    Thanks for all your messages, I'll try and give a slight bit more info the planters are curved and about 15' by 4', I dont really want to plant a tree as the roots in time may cause the playground to crack etc and risk injury to the young persons.  I like the idea of planting wild flowers but not from seed as this will mean their is still a risk of the kids running across them etc.  I will get some photo's tomorrow (Friday)

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Gosh that is big. How deep are they? The ballerina type fruit trees might be ok. I don't think the roots on those would go outside the planter. If you didn't want trees at all you could do fruit bushes. Or plant them up with rockery plants. If the kids can run across them, how high off the ground are they??? Or do they climb on them and then run across them???

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • TopsoiledTopsoiled Posts: 113

    A few ideas -

    1. How about giving each planter to a different class to design and plant? Okay so extra work for the teachers but make it a competition/get parents involved.


    2. Theme each one as a continent and plant in that style, Europe Africa, etc  

    3. each planter designed for a different Season - spring would be easy- winter harder! and wildlife for the 5th.

    4. Food groups - roots crops/brassicas/ salads etc. Crop rotation/farming would all come in to play.

    5. English landscapes - beach, forest, meadow, etc

    6. Senses - smell, sight(colour),feel, etc

    7. Colours (one per planter)

    Failing the above - if you want colour and nice border type style- how about Nasturtiums, verbenas, allysum, archillea, gladiolas, lobelia, kafir lily, delphimiums, Sweet William, dahlias, lavender, sage, rosemary. Based on colours, length of flowering, easy to grow, easy to maintain, safe for the kids, attract a bit of wildlife. I'd also put daffodils, wallflowers, tulips in for the spring. You could of a search on the RHS website for early flowering plants. All depends on how much help and enthusiasm you can get from parents and teachers. Good luck! 

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