Throughout Weeks 1-5 of Term 3, keen horticulturalists/”Zen seekers” partook in a do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop to create their own miniature Zen gardens. The workshop had different components each week for students to complete, with a focus on using everyday products and materials throughout the making process.
The first week began with the design of their Zen garden bowl and the layout plan of their garden – getting ideas and inspiration from Zen gardens that they have researched or seen before. The second week was the messy (but fun!) part – where students made their own bowls using papier-mâché, a technique that required several layers of newspaper stuck together using a paste mixture of flour and water.
Once these bowls had dried, students had a week to paint their creative designs on the interior and exterior of their Zen garden bowls. Many students opted to sand down their bowls for a smooth exterior, however many also liked the rough texture of the papier-mâché, and therefore painted them as they were.
The following week, students went on an adventure to seek out objects and plants around the Rivendell School grounds that they would like to add to their Zen gardens. Some students used sand from the river, others found branches and rocks to include, while many made off-cuts of succulents from the gardens to plant in the soil.
The final week was for finishing touches, putting together all of the elements of their Zen gardens and – the best part of all -getting to take them home! All of the students who participated put in a tremendous amount of effort, which is evidenced in the final products, which all look fantastic.
It’s safe to say that the staff and students who participated in this workshop achieved a state of Zen!