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To celebrate Cheltenham Bournside School’s 50th anniversary since the school was established in 1972, Gardens by Keltie and Clark were commissioned to construct a garden design for an existing courtyard within the school. The existing courtyard, termed ‘The Quad’ is masked with concrete paving slabs, creating a monotonous and dreary space.
We aspired to transform the area. The design delivering a distinctive, attractive courtyard for students to relax, interact and learn whilst inspiring all members of the school community. Therefore, capturing the essence of the school.
As well as creating an appealing design, we wanted the space to be versatile and flexible in function. The space will provide an alluring outlook from surrounding and overlooking classrooms. There is an area tailored for outdoor performances and events, which could alternatively be utilised for studying outside. Further the children will use seating areas to relax, socialise and study during break.
With a budget in mind for a courtyard garden design, instead of generating a high hard landscaping bill, we aimed to utilize this for a variety of assorted planting, softening the hard edges of the courtyard.
Our landscaping team acquired access to the school over the summer holidays. The landscapers utilised a tight timespan to unleash the design proposed. The design consists of several equal square planting beds with pathways between, as well as strips of hedging and longer planting borders. The overall concept envisioned a symmetrical and ordered space; subdividing the space into uniform pockets and rooms.
A variety of numerous tree, perennial, grass, and shrub species were used to soften and uplift the courtyard. The species ranging in size and form. This will increase the overall biodiversity of Cheltenham Bournside School, hopefully increasing habitats for wildlife and talking points for the students. A bonus: it may encourage students to adopt an interest in horticulture and landscaping!
Whilst celebrating Bournside School’s significant anniversary, we envision this design will aid student and staff health and wellbeing. This will hopefully relieve any stress in the school environment. Being in and around nature is known to improve mood and reduce feelings of stress. Having an area within the school to appreciate the planting and spend time amongst the greenery will provide a space for reflection and contemplation.
As a team, we collectively put our efforts together to create this space. We hope all at Cheltenham Bournside School will enjoy as much as we enjoyed designing and building. It was a pleasure to work alongside the school to establish a garden design to celebrate their important Golden Jubilee year. We hope the courtyard garden design will be enhanced within future celebratory anniversaries. Also generations of students at Cheltenham Bournside School will add to the courtyard garden design.