The first basket of produce from a garden is thrilling, but the rewards throughout the year are endlessly satisfying. This year, the gardening team at Scott House has been picking the first crop of vegetables from their new garden, and everyone in the House has been able to take home the fruits of their harvest.

Last year’s conservation reps in the Second Form, Archie and Noah, initiated the project to convert a disused courtyard behind the new extension to Scott House into a productive garden. Plans and budgets were drawn up together with Oundle’s Gary Pegden, Head of Grounds, who then brought in the materials to build raised beds and gravel paths.

In May, the beds were ready to be planted by pupils, under guidance and advice from Head Gardener Nick Tebbs. A garden bench was donated by Noah’s grandfather, plants were funded by a conservation award presented by the Friends of Laxton, Sadler and Scott (FOLSS), and tools and kit were donated by parents. During the summer holidays the garden was tended by school gardener Alice Butts, who has also been on hand to teach the pupils about the planting rotations.

The existing shed has been refurbished and is now handy storage for their garden tools and kit, which the team keep immaculately organised. The borders at the garden entrance are planted with useful herbs, and a bug hotel encourages helpful garden insects and pollinators like ladybirds and solitary bees.

The first year has been a great success under the care of Cristian, Georgina, Georgie, Miranda, Bea and other volunteers. The vegetables are picked every week and then displayed in a produce box for pupils to take home. Meals made from the harvest can be shared on the Scott House Teams Channel called Soil to Stove.

Garden favourites like rhubarb, runner beans, sweat peas, carrots, celery and potatoes have been very reliable, while there are courgettes to pick every time they turn around, and the cucumber vines have produced fat specimens.

There are plenty of figs on their new tree, although not big enough to pick, and there was disappointment that the currant bushes didn’t produce fruit this year. But there is always next season to look forward to, and the pupils are already planning the next rotation with winter crops.