It has come to my attention that most children grow up playing in what is not much more than a dirt patch in what is proudly proclaimed the ‘Garden State’. Where are the lush green ovals? Where are the fields of wildflowers? Where is the grass? The sad truth is that any wayward corners of garden surviving in a modern day primary school has to be made of tougher stuff than you would think. Trodden on, picked at, and stomped on by drooling preppies and year six graduates alike, the gardens of the playground are certainly put to the test.
Even with the best watering and sprinkling systems, most flowers have a very limited life span. The constant assault from little feet running back and forth for hours on end results in a patchy hard surface of dirt that isn’t exactly ideal for planting.
That is why I believe Victorian primary schools, and indeed primary schools across Australia should embrace gardeners and put in flowering shrubs. Melbourne residents do not want their children playing in the mud, they want them playing on the grass, and schools should uphold that wish. Melbourne schools deserve better. The benefits of having a beautiful flowering area for children to see every day are numerous.
I have noticed that some local primary schools are embracing this garden idea as an effective and visually appealing way to entice parents to enrol their children. I would hope as time goes on the state as a whole sees the sense behind my sentiment.
Keeping plants alive at the best of times becomes difficult, let alone under the stress of hundreds of children every day. We need gardeners to tend to these plants and flowers and teach the children about botany. The government needs to act, not only to get our children out of the dirt but to implement great cost savings on water and to stop the obscenity of having a dirt oval. Melbourne wake up and smell the hybrid tea roses, it is the future!