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William Patten's Herb Garden is go! Planting starts in March

We have excellent news! Local charity Growing Green London has offered to buy the herbs we need to plant one of our planned borders at William Patten Primary School, the medicinal herb border! This border will allow the children to learn all about different types of herbs and 'weeds' that can be used to support health, and which might be used to make medicines or food.

It will also create a herbal border which the School can use with community groups if it so wishes, outside of school hours - for example on Saturday mornings, afterschool or in holidays. Garden visitors will be able to garden, harvest and make simple remedies using the plants.

The proposed plan for the main planting border is attached above. We intend to plant to create year round interest, and add in child-friendly plants which also support pollinators to balance human with wildlife need.

Brilliant 'starter' herbs for kids include Calendula (or Pot Marigold) which produces lovely orange flowers throughout much of the year, and once dried can make yummy healing teas or can be added to oil to make soothing skin oils or balms.

Or Fennel (the wild one, not the vegetable!) produces fragrant seeds which can be crushed and added to honey (ideally with linseed) to make a delicious 'gut friendly' honey. Many of these plants are also very historical and can be wrapped into history classes - for example Yarrow was a herb which has traditionally been used to heal wounds, hence it common name 'soldier's woundwort'.

We will also be adding some 'dye plants' in as well for the children to use in natural dye sessions with Nature Club or Eco Team. Cosmos, Coreopsis and Dyers Chamomile are all wonderful flowers to use in hapazome or 'flower bashing' , or they can be steamed to leave colours on fabrics.

Sunflowers will ensures the children can have an annual Sunflower naming competition, and perhaps see which Year's sunflowers grow the tallest! And thornless Blackberries also mean they can do a little foraging, to make blackberry pancakes, or even back the berries to make blackberry ink.

We will also plant Peppermint, Lemon Balm, and friendly weeds such as Dandelions and Nettles, but likely in pots to ensure they don't take over.

Thanks also to the brilliant Tree Musketeers who have already contributed a thornless blackberry, plus also some extras such a Gojiberry shrub and blackcurrant shrub.

Planting will happen on March 19th, involving the School's Eco Team and hopefully some parents or carers. More news on volunteers soon!

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