The Isebrook Superbloom

By Vince Simmons
Isebrook School
Kettering
14 June 2022

We at Isebrook were overjoyed to have been chosen to be part of the Superbloom project.

We first started with a brainstorming session with all the students that have chosen Horticulture as their option. Suggestions included Willow Weaving (we do this mainly in the Winter but it's now a very Isebrook thing). A bigger story than just the Superbloom was decided on so we included sunflowers that tie in with the bees and pollinators (we chose Mongolian as they were the largest).

 

That's a lot of plants

Our roundabout has the school's sculpture mounted in the middle. We had to think laterally as the soil is shallow and poor. Our students at once started to propagate our own Aeoniums and Echeverias managing to make around 100 plants. These are only half-hardy but need little water and grow the size of beach balls. To top it off we planted some Sikkim Bananas that we grew from seeds the year before.

Willow weaving is our thing

We had a triangular area that needed a feature so we willow wove a low screen and planted Sweet peas on it to add colour and then filled it with the Superbloom plants we had grown in the polytunnel. The screen is a great project for students of all ages and abilities.

The next area was under a tree so we made this a more immersive experience by making a path through the sunflowers and under a willow arch woven by many students taking turns to do a few centimetres each.

Those trees have faces!

My students liked the idea of tree faces so we made them out of air-drying clay, poster-painted them and finally gave them a coat of yacht varnish. I stuck them on the trees with silicone sealant from a builder merchant.

To finish off, and create a narrative for the students, I made some animals and the reader to give them something to look out for as they explore the gardens.

This has proved a great project and created so much interest with students, parents and teachers alike. Like the Tower, we are thinking less about this being for one year and more of a legacy project.

Previous blog

Hillborough in Bloom!

By Penny Whelan
Hillborough Junior School
17 May 2022

read blog all blogs