Bright and early on a recent Saturday morning, St Hilda’s School hosted a ‘gardening bee’ to plant nine vegetable garden plots, hedge a labyrinth and create a bush tucker garden. Organised and led by us, as Sustainability Prefects, with the support of the Head of Business Mr Paul Salter and the grounds staff, the school community garden was made possible.
The gardening bee was a great success, with involvement from Pre-Prep through to Year 12 students, and staff, parents and wider community members who enthusiastically attended. Already, the garden is cultivating a likeminded community dedicated to growing fresh produce. The Boarding Sustainability Committee has committed to a roster, whereby a group of girls alternate each week to water and tend to the garden. In time, with the growth of the produce, the gardens will provide fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs for use by the Boarders, boarding house kitchen staff, onsite staff and the Hospitality faculty.
St Hilda's Community Garden Planting 2021
Understanding students’ need for time and space, a labyrinth hedge, comprised of native Lilly Pillies, was also planted during the gardening bee. The labyrinth is a quiet space for meditation, reflection and mindfulness, providing students the opportunity to take a break from the stresses of school life and relax with their own thoughts. The labyrinth also provides an area for the younger students to play and explore. The area is a wonderful place for our Junior School students to sit quietly and discover the importance of mindfulness or learn about the food sources growing in the garden nearby.
Both the garden and the labyrinth provide spaces for community involvement, connection and education. Additionally, we at St Hilda’s appreciate the importance of First Nation cultures and knowledges, and the significance of native flora and fauna. Consequently, an area of the garden has been dedicated to bush tucker. This has been planted to cultivate a healthy Australian environment for our insects and native bees that have settled into the hive located in the centre of the bush tucker area. This area will also provide a space of learning for our students – particularly the Junior School students – to teach them about First Nations cultures and knowledge’s, including about native flora and fauna.