Learning – Out of this World
In outdoor spaces the learning experience is different. The air can be refreshing and the noise stops bouncing off the walls. Being outdoors boosts our physical and mental health. Best of all, we can create an opportunity to slow down and reduces stress for students and their teachers!
Lower the Maintenance, Up the Rewards
Mesh tables positioned over narrow garden beds are a great way to reduce clean-up time and conserve precious soil. Furthermore, the garden beds are tucked away safely from accidental damage by foot-traffic. On sloped sites, the ideal position of the table is along the contour. This provides a choice of access points. In addition to the good water management and plant protection, students can choose their preferred work height.
A Safe and Secure Glade
Boundary plantings enable everyone to relax and enjoy the learning space. When we set boundaries, children feel free to wander and explore within that space. The student no longer needs to look back to the teacher for consent about where they may wander.
Design a bountiful and safe learning glade. These edges can contain a richly layered thicket of trees, shrubs, vines and tall grasses. Furthermore, edge plantings help to soften the boundary and can provide a sense of coziness and belonging. Tall edge plantings can also provide wind protection. Sissinghurst Gardens achieve a sense of enchantment and familiarity by incorporating old walls and furniture shapes in the outdoor ‘rooms’.
Education and Food – Get a Double Helping
Food defines our culture. It also unites people. Nearly everyone has opinions on foods and a curiosity about how it grows. The beauty of putting food plants in the learning environment is that they are generally safe plants. You could include useful plants that are non-toxic, non-irritant and low in allergy risk. Here is our list of permaculture plants for warm temperate zone.
Tall useful plants include sunflower, Jerusalem artichoke, Yacon, giant sage, bamboo for poles to make tents, flags, arches, trellises and garden-edge fencing. Good plant species for weaving projects include mulberry and sturdy vines such as grape-vine, kiwi-fruit, passion-flower. The garden classroom can be a great resource for learning about construction techniques of aboriginal and other traditional shelters.
Playful spaces have viewing platforms, resting nooks, perches, undulating paths and sweeping curves. In addition to your resilient and engaging landscape, you can add toys like little bridges, solar fountains, windmills, flags, scare-crows, signs, arches, ponds with hand-pumps, cascades and Archimedes screws.
Make Your Outdoors Great
Great spaces have two vital features: function and creative flair. The functional elements include paths that run along the contour. This provides good water management, erosion control and conservation of nutrients. The functional garden harvests, absorbs and directs water. Furthermore, the beds trap silt, build soil and fertility.
Creative play enhances functionality. For instance, the functional paths can double as seating spaces for an audience. The stage can be a simple platform below. This platform can also be multi-functional. It can be used as a demonstration space, meeting point, a bird-hide, construction space (using construction plants like sunflower stems) or a work-zone.
Ultimately, the garden becomes a thriving space for creative and imaginative play.
Build your own permaculture system. Enjoy learning permaculture with us.