THE GREENFINGERS CLUB UNVEIL THE NEW SIXTH FORM GARDEN | Surbiton High School
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THE GREENFINGERS CLUB UNVEIL THE NEW SIXTH FORM GARDEN

Posted: 17th December 2020

After 10 months of hard work, the Green Fingers team in Year 10 and the Design & Technology department have successfully opened the Rowena Cade Garden in the Sixth Form!

It’s been scientifically proven many, many times that plants and gardening do improve your mental and physical wellbeing; we’re naturally drawn to green spaces. They improve memory retention, productivity, creativity, concentration, intellect; we could go on for ever. Plants can essentially improve our overall quality of life! This is especially true since many of us live in or commute to and from London. It’s well known as a bustling polluting noisy metropolis with not much room for greenery. It made perfect sense to open this refuge, where students can take a moment to recharge. The chosen plants were picked to ensure the space is calm and peaceful for all who wish to use it, whether to revise or to socialise with friends. We’ve included plants such as black bamboo, Japanese maple, hydrangea, jasmine, and many more!

The garden’s namesake, Rowena Cade, built an entire theatre by hand on the Minack headland in Cornwall. She had bought the land for £100 in the early 1920’s, but it wasn’t until 1929 that’s she’d have a use for her large cliffside garden. Cade got involved in an open-air production for The Tempest, and offered her garden to be the stage for it. With some helpers and some dynamite, she cut up rocks and boulders by hand to fashion the terraces and seats, and used sand and concrete to cement them into place. Cade spent the rest of her life determinedly working on the Minack Theatre, and died in 1983. Her perseverance, as well as the careful upkeep of the theatre’s garden, will be remembered for years to come by this green space we have cultivated. Next term, we’re hoping to build a sculpture or two to display in the garden, with yet more assistance from the D&T Department. Until then, we all hope the Sixth Form enjoy their new garden!

Jules Feeny, PA:

This term we have used some of the money raised to fund a garden for the Sixth Form students, giving them an area to meet outside whilst enjoying the benefits of being in nature.

The Design & Technology Department have worked hard to design and build the garden, and a group of keen gardeners from the Greenfingers Club spent the afternoon planting a number of climbers and flowers. Rebecca Glover opened the garden, named after Rowena Cade, who built the amazing Minack Theatre, on a particularly grey and damp day.

We’re looking forward to seeing it in the spring when the plants have developed and hopefully the sun will be shining!

Thank you to the Parents’ Association for making this project come to life!

Categories: Sixth Form
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