Schools often have courtyards that can be turned into attractive spaces. This 9m by 13m garden has an entrance through an arch with honeysuckle climbers. The front boundary trellis forms a framework for quick-growing, fragrant sweet peas. The inside of the trellis is a raised bed where pupils can grow annual plants - herbs, sunflowers and strawberries.
L-shaped, textured paving on two sides of the garden provides a non-slip surface. Brick inserts and edging to the lawn offer a change of texture and are ideal for relief rubbings. Tables and chairs permit outdoor reading in sun and shade. The border along the south-west wall is ideal for herbs, with the wall itself forming a warm backing for ripening espalier fruit trees.
Another L-shaped raised bed is softened with plants that thrive in the sun; silver-leafed plants such as Senecio, Phlomis and Stachys have the added benefit of soft furry leaves.
The sand-pit, hidden by plants, is wonderful for play; the timber lid keeps the sand clean. At the top of the garden, a "secret" wooded walk leads through small trees and back to the grass. This allows children to explore and walk among plants.
Small trees from the rowan and crab-apple family provide interest all year with blossom, fruit and autumn colours. Bird-feeders can be hung from the branches, and plants such as Buddleia, Viburnum and Ribes can encourage wildlife.
A small grass area is useful for outdoor storytime and is ideal for a climbing frame and slide on a safe-play surface. The water feature is safe: water bubbles up through pebbles or a drilled boulder from a hidden reservoir and is recirculated. A bench allows children to enjoy the feature and the bird life. A sundial encourages children to develop an understanding of time and the movement of the Sun.
It would cost from pound;7,580 to pound;8,500 for professionals to convert a courtyard this size, but this sum could be greatly reduced with the help of skilled volunteers and parents.
Richard Key is a designer of medal-winning gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show.
* Plant ideas
TREES AND SHRUBS: Choose trees that give year-round interest: rowan, crab apple, contorted hazel, snake bark maple, silver birch. Buddleia grows almost anywhere and is good for butterflies, colour and scent. Cornus (dogwood) has bright red stems in winter.
CLIMBERS: Use honeysuckle, ivy and sweet peas to illustrate the different methods plants use to cling to a support.
SENSORY PLANTS: Alchemilla mollis and Stachys have soft furry leaves. Lavender, thrift and yew give contrasting spiky textures.
Plants for butterflies Plant valerian, Achillea, Angelica and honesty in sunny, sheltered sites.
HERBS: These prefer sunny, well-drained, poor soil. Plant mint on its own, or it will take over the garden. Try a collection of gingermint, peppermint, spearmint and applemint for an aromatic range.