The aim of this project was to involve schools in their own school greening by planting indigenous water wise plants. These gardens can then be used by the school to learn about Biodiversity. The value of indigenous plants is that they are better adapted to the climate conditions in our country, they are not invasive and can withstand drier conditions. Many of these plants also have medicinal value, and are therefore an asset in the school garden enabling school children to learn more about indigenous knowledge systems.
The school greening program started three years ago at the following schools: Bona Lesedi, Phateng, Somafco, Stanza Bopape and Tsako Thabo all in Mamelodi.
Each school has a team consisting of learners, educators and school gardeners. These schools attended workshops on the following topics:
- Why indigenous
- Garden Design
- Soil preparation
- Parenting plants
- Garden maintenance
- Let the garden speak.
The first task of the schools was to design their first garden( 2009), which was only 25m2. Plants were provided from our nursery. The second task of the learners was to prepare their soil and plant these gardens. Soil preparation included making a compost heap. After planting the gardens the children then learn to make their own cuttings and grow their own plants for their second and third garden. The last task was to name their plants. Every year schools went through the same process of designing and planting their own garden as they extended their garden space. Every year we have a little competition among the schools and prizes are awarded to the winners.
Please see the photo’s in the Annual Report to illustrate how the Bona Lesedi garden grew from a piece of lawn to a lush garden which attracts a variety of birds and insects. Through this project the learners learned number of skills:
Garden design, sustainable methods of preparing the soil, growing plants, garden maintenance, appreciating indigenous plants and learned about their value, whether medicinal or other uses of the plant.
It was exciting to see these gardens grow and turning spaces into places that add aesthetic value to the school grounds, but also spaces that heal the school environment and are at the same time a space for learning.