By Phillip Naughton
Gardener, Kew High School
The gardens have benefitted from good rain through spring. This has enabled new plantings to establish and soils to improve with the mulching that is taking place. Maintenance has continued with weeding and fertilising as well. The fences have been removed from the Burke Road bus stop raised beds as the daisies are now formed into a hedge.
Two new garden beds have been established. One is under the gum tree between the soccer fields. Named the Lizard Garden it is made up of native shrubs and grasses. A student initiative of Arley Hobsbawn, and guided by Ms Elise Dunstan, this was installed by the Environment students with donations of plants and materials through their contacts. The other garden is outside the lower staff room windows. This will be a shaded garden bed with plants donated by staff and friends of Kew High School. Planting was carried out by the Landscape Lads.
Gardens are also being restored. The Memorial Garden below the flag pole has been mulched and irrigation laid out. Plants from donated sources have been put in to continue the shrubs and perennials alongside the perennial Jacaranda Garden. The Landscape Lads have helped with this project. Under the guidance of Ms Dunstan, the garden bed under the senior soccer field wall has new plants added and been mulched. The work was carried out with the help of students, staff and volunteers.
This week Ms Dunstan with the help of two alumni, Joe and Phil from the class of 1977, mulched the garden around the new plants in the north east corner. Mulching the garden being restored below the soccer pitch by the students was completed with woodchips. This is important for building a healthy soil and help protect the plants from the summer heat. The school uses woodchips donated by arborists.
Our thanks go to Ms Dunstan for the time and effort she puts in towards the school gardens. Through her development program, many students, staff, alumni and volunteers have become involved, especially the Enviro Team.
We have now had five Landscape Lads teams working annually since 2019. Thank you to Sam Gleeson, assisted by Tim Gason, for organising and supervising the lads. Nearly all the gardens over the past fourteen years have been developed with student help.
Recommended references to watch:
Dr James White: The Rhizophagy Cycle. This explains how plants farm their own microbes.
Alison Pouliot:The Forgotten Kingdom. Explains lots about fungi.