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“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need” (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

At St Mary’s School Ascot, pupils and staff appreciate their location away from a city with plenty of green space so that it is relatively easy to run a school garden on the premises. Luckily, among staff members, there are those with enthusiasm and horticultural knowledge to educate and motivate pupils of all age groups. With careful management the garden has become quite self-sufficient and older pupils teach younger ones what to do and younger gardeners quickly discover what needs to be done.

For a boarding school, a school garden is a blessing and weekend schedules, especially in spring and summer, often include some garden activities for which volunteers can sign up.

The school garden has plenty of lovely features. One such is the border hedge made up of selective native varieties of crab apples, sloes, elderflower, and rosehip plants.

The food technology department receives their organic herbs and other fresh produce from the garden. For example, classes are making rhubarb cordial of which some is sold for charity.

It is also possible for members of staff to run their own small allotment which has been much appreciated by residential staff who find this a welcome recreational exercise while living at school.

The art and photography department use the garden to teach about botanical illustrations and they can be seen sitting among the flower beds armed with pencil and drawing.

Our school garden has contributed to pupils feeling a sense of pride and showed them how gardening can improve not just your health by spending time outdoors but also improves our wealth on many levels. Making things grow is exciting and produces delicious food is rewarding.

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