Bright and early on a September morning, Year 3 and Year 4 headed off in the minibuses to RHS Wisley. Once there, 3E were ‘Plant Hunters’ in their workshop, led by one of the Wisley team. They took their own cutting from a Tradescantia plant and potted it up in compost, before exploring various plants in the Clore Centre, Wisley’s education building. Then it was off to hunt for plants in the Glass House; there are two biomes there – Rainforest and Desert. They learnt how plants adapt to different climates and asked lots of interesting questions as we walked around.

Meanwhile, Year 4, led by Vinehall’s very own horticulturist, Rachel Borrows, disappeared to the wonderful Vegetable Gardens and beyond. In the afternoon 4B took part in a different workshop, ‘Planting for the Planet’. After lunch, 3E loved being with Rachel in the Mindfulness Gardens, especially when we allowed them to take off their shoes and socks to paddle (calmly!) in the trickling stream … these gardens are beautiful: all the senses are used – feeling, smelling, touching and listening – as you wander through the grasses near the water. Back in the Vegetable Garden I think 3E’s most popular vegetables were the rainbow chard and rainbow chillies!

The day ended at the well-designed Play Area, where the children let off steam before the journey home.

Thanks to Paul Borrows and Louise Barrett for driving; Denise Lomas for child-counting; and to Rachel Borrows for giving us her knowledge and expertise whilst there. It was a brilliant outing – I would love to go again!

Carina Everist