On Tuesday, our Class 2 and EYFS children visited Chatsworth as part of our Scented Garden topic. We were very glad of a sunny start to the day as we were going to be spending the whole day outside. We arrived and walked to the Stickyard where our ‘Chatsworth Explorers’ workshop started.
First we learnt how to use a compass and we all practised being the parts of a compass before using real compasses to find different directions. We have been learning about Joseph Paxton who was the head gardener at Chatsworth from 1826 and was in charge of finding exotic and rare plants for the gardens so we followed in his footsteps and pretended that we were explorers searching for a large green leaf. We didn’t find that leaf growing, but we identified lots of other leaves such as mare’s tail, silver birch and sycamore seedlings.
We came to a clearing with a campfire and a lady told us she had found some yellow fruits and had some of the large leaves we had been looking for. We quickly identified the fruits as bananas and as she had been cooking bananas stuffed with chocolate buttons on her campfire, she shared them with us!
By then it was lunchtime and we ate our packed lunches on the grass in the gardens.
After lunch, we had a guided tour of the gardens. We saw lots of water features such as the Cascade, the Willow Tree Fountain and the Emperor Fountain. We walked around Paxton’s Rock Garden, through the coal tunnel and we saw where Paxton’s Great Conservatory had been.