After hearing a talk last year from an expert on insects and their massive decline in Germany and all over the world, the H.I.S. Environment Group determined to improve the planting in the school garden in order to benefit insects, such as bees, beetles and butterflies.
With the Coronavirus outbreak, our plans were thwarted this year and the H.I.S. garden was left somewhat to its own devices; although thanks go to the admin team, for keeping the herbs watered.
Before lockdown I had been concerned about weeds taking over and overwhelming what had been planted the year before during the playground improvements and by the PYP classes. The ‘weeds’ have indeed gained a foothold in those new beds, however, I need not have worried.
Sometimes weeds are just what you need! We now have beds that are full of insect beneficial plants, such as clover, which complement those that were planted, such as lavender, lupins, Buddleia, and poppies. There seems to be room for both cultivars and chancers and, with the long break from the students, both have become established.
What has emerged over lockdown is a true paradise for insects, reptiles (lizards) and humans alike. It has been an absolute delight to watch the students explore this biosphere, especially the lower primary classes who are now truly engaged with nature thanks to their teachers who have encouraged them to go out into the garden and discover! The students have found all kinds of minibeasts, including last week, a huge goat moth caterpillar https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/goat-moth which they were determined to protect.
Plans have been made to install a low rounded picket fence to protect the largest of the new beds from being walked on when the students return to school in August so that the head start Corona has given nature is not lost. The Environment Group will involve the students in slowly adding beneficial plants here and there between bee-friendly weeds and the perennials that were purposely planted.
May nature continue to thrive in our lovely school garden!