Clonard’s Desert Garden
Desert Garden established at Clonard College
This semester the Middle School Permaculture class has been working on garden design. We designed two gardens, one of which was a desert garden. The design of this garden was chosen as a feature to go in front of the Year 10 and 11 blocks.
As part of the design process we planned, costed and purchased the plants and the necessary things like mulch. These were then delivered and we set to work constructing the garden.
In the lesson prior to our class our students spread a layer of sand on the garden bed to act as mulch and give the garden a desert feel. Other students organised the plants and determined where they were to be planted in the garden based on their growth characteristics.
On Thursday 21st of October, thirty Year 5/6 girls from Holy Spirit Primary School came down to work with the MS Permaculture group to plant out the garden and learn about various aspects of garden design.
The permaculture students had planned three activities for the children to participate in. The first of these was actually planting the succulents. The students really enjoyed this as they could participate in something that would be part of their Clonard experience if they come to Clonard next year.
Another activity was about how desert plants have adapted to the harsh, dry conditions of their environment. This was a good activity because they got to develop an understanding about some of the plants that we were planting.
The last activity was looking at the different bugs in the garden and learning about what they do for and to our plants. The Holy Spirit kids had lots of fun looking through the microscopes at the bugs that they collected at the start of the lesson.
It is the intention of the MS Permaculture class that this desert garden will also be used as a resource for the junior years Science and Humanities classes when they study environments and adaptations.
Overall the day was a huge success. There is now a great desert garden for the future and all the students have learnt a lot.
Middle School Permaculture class