This week we see the beginning of National Garden week and I wanted to focus on Zandra our Head Gardener at Brearley Hall. Zandra has shared some insights with me around her job role at Timeout.
I work at Brearley Hall Gardens as a gardener. I see the kids everyday and say hello and have a really nice relationship with them all, but my role isn't child focused.
I make sure their environment is nurtured and cared for, and, I think this in turn helps them to feel safe and able to flourish as individuals.
Most important, I grow food in Honeysuckle gardens, our allotment area. The kids come help me harvest. It's a great way to show kids that food isn't invented in the supermarket! Being able to see the food grown from seed which eventually ends up at the table should give them a bit more understanding on how important it is not to waste food. It takes a lot of energy to grow things and I think, as a society, we underestimate food and its value/importance.
I do small group sessions with the children in school. The sessions vary; sometimes we may sow seeds, other times make pea supports, sometimes go foraging. My aim is to make sure children have fun with nature and learn at the same time.
I also organize large events for the homes' children; Halloween and Easter (any the many more to come). I made sure that the children could explore different areas of the grounds and make happy memories here at Brearley.
It's a great job and I think the kids appreciate me being here!
Even though Zandra's role doesn't always involve direct contact with the pupils she does still work with them from time to time.
The gardens at Brearley Hall are now looking fantastic with the spectacular bluebell woods in full force, apple trees blossoming and red currant bushes producing cordial for the pupils of Brearley Hall School.
Zandra working witht the pupils will hopefully imspire them to want to grow their own fruit and vegetables later on in life.