Project Description

Elkanah Preparatory School Garden

We were commissioned by the Architect to do the soft landscaping around the new class rooms of the Elkanah Preparatory School in Sunningdale. The original gardens mainly consisted of thirsty lawn areas.

Our brief was to transform the areas into functional, educational and interactive areas which had to be low on water consumption. Lots of compost, mulch and water retaining granules was used to give the plants the best possible change of survival.  Plants had to be hardy, colourful, interesting and child-friendly .

To lower costs some existing plants were recycled & excess excavated soil was used to fill planter boxes.
Each classroom opens up onto its own play area complete with a raised food garden, sand box, jungle gym, artificial lawn, discovery pathway and water play areas. Low, colourful hedges were planted to demarcate play zones. This encourages the kids to stay in there play zone while allowing the teachers to have a uninterrupted view of the entire area.

In the central courtyard an outdoor learning area opens up to a brilliant view of the sky above. Textural and fragrant plants soften the floating seats creating a tranquil learning environment, while a single Leopard tree provides midday shelter as it reaches for the heavens.

The garden was completed in the middle of summer during the water restrictions so keeping the plants alive was a serious challenge. The children were taught to take responsibility, by bringing a bottle of water from home to help water the foods gardens. Water gets recycled into the garden after water play time. Future plans will be to install a borehole.