The concept plan above shows the design for a site in Victoria, Australia. The site is a childcare facility, for children aged between 18 months and 6 years, and sometimes older children up to the age of 10 after school and during holidays. This design therefore takes into account their needs and requirements for their care.
The design aims to blend native and exotic planting to create a food-filled and fun-filled space. It aims to allow for as high a yield as possible, while leaving space for play and recreation, and catering to wildlife as well as human users of the site.
Key spaces include a pollinator garden, with some perennial edibles, wild open grassland areas, annual production in raised beds and vertical gardens, a trellis with climbing plants against an existing structure, a low boundary hedgerow, and a small area of forest garden.
The layout and planting aim to allow children to connect with nature, and be inspired by the natural world – as well as getting hands-on and helping with food production. Outdoors spaces allow for nature teaching as well as providing plenty of opportunities for play.
The planting plans outlined for this design incorporate both internationally familiar food crops and fruiting plants, and native crops used as food by indigenous peoples of the region. Of course, these have been chosen with reference to the climate, microclimate and conditions of the site.
Like my previous designs for the NowSchool, and other child-friendly gardens I have designed around the world, the goal is to create spaces which allow children to grow up with a close connection to nature, and a deep appreciation for the natural world.
If you have a school, a playgroup, or a family garden that you would like to turn into an eco-friendly space for kids to learn and play, please do get in touch to discuss a design.