War memorial inspiration for school’s garden

Ashton Middle School garden
Ashton Middle School garden

Inspiration from a First World War memorial has helped make Ashton Middle the winners of the Dunstable in Bloom Schools Competition for 2014.

The High Street North school’s garden is a collaboration between pupils, staff and parents, who have all had an input.

The 1914-18 war memorial plaque in the school library has the names of students at Dunstable Grammar School, which occupied the site before it became a middle school, who lost their lives in the conflict.

The structure of the garden has been created using memorial tiles designed and made by the pupils, each one naming somebody from the memorial plaque.

A sculpture was inspired by the Brooding Soldier at Vancouver Corner in Belgium, while planters made from old boots were donated by 170 Engineer Group, which has seen action in Iraq, Afghanistan and Nairobi.

White crosses as seen in many cemeteries, a bunker created from an existing bench and a field hospital from the school’s arbour are also featured.

The planting uses a red and gold theme, with plants having been chosen and grown by pupils.

They used celosia to represent flames and fire, poppies to echo the fields of red around the Somme, Plum Pudding Heuchera to portray explosions, gold lilies around the field hospital to signify warmth and peace and trailing fuchsias around the sculpture to depict tears of a country mourning a lost generation