The Hidden Treasure
- Elizabeth (Beth) Murphy
- The Curragh Girls NS
- Science, History, Geography
On my first visit to The Curragh Girls NS I was drawn to a wooden fence and broken gate that would later reveal a garden long forgotten and all its treasures.
This is a common thing to happen in schools as people move on with their lives and maybe the school garden is in full bloom when a particular teacher or parent is on board and then takes a nose dive when things change.
This is where The Heritage Expert can help, a booking of five half days was made and we began the makeover with loppers, forks, gloves, wheelbarrows, school camera and all the students and teachers we got stuck in.
It was so exciting when we pulled back the briars to reveal several habitats the wild conditions gave refuge to many insects and bugs so with our swatches from the National Biodiversity Data Centre and our magnifying Bug tubs we got a closer look at various insects Ladybirds, woodlice, cricket, Green Shield bug, Dragonfly Demoiselle Blue, rove Beetle,
The lady that have given so much love and attention to this garden had planted many shrubs, flowers, herbs and trees, our job was to photograph and identify, map and record.
How fantastic it was to arrive at the school on a visit to see a shrub (ceanothus arboreus Greene) bursting with purple flowers buzzing with bees with sacks loaded with pollen this was an invaluable learning for all the students and teachers.
An old rotten tree stump revealed a colony of red ants; from a red ant experience I had as a child I advised they were to be left busy in their world we watched from a distance.
The junior classes were so excited when we cut back the briars to find a dolls house we knocked on the door to see was anyone home and many of the children saw fairies looking out the window many tales were shared on their visit.
We made plans to plant spuds, carrots, peas and salads we will prepare the beds over the winter ready for planting in the spring, we worked with willow to make willow angels to support our peas and sunflowers.
I saw a garden and with the hard work of the students and teachers and the support of the school we revealed it as a school garden a place of learning and connecting to be proud of.