Get to know: Sunshine Garden Centre – Sunday Mirror

Behinf the Sunday Mirror Blog Post feature image Sunshine Graden Centre

Simon Haines
Sunshine Garden Centre

Published in the Sunday Mirror

School gardens are a popular feature of modern-day school life. These gardens give young people the opportunity to get their hands dirty, learn outside and grow their own food, whilst benefitting from the additional exercise and fresh air. Hargrave Park Primary School in Archway, north London have taken this idea one step further and with the help of their local Sunshine garden centre have started to green up their indoor grey spaces too!


The project was inspired by a visit to the school from Professor Stephen Heppell who promotes the idea that plants in a school environment help with the children’s cognitive performance. Professor Heppwll suggested that introducing plants to indoor spaces works towards lowering the C02 emissions and increasing the oxygen in a room and as an added bonus the classrooms look great with all the wonderful plants.


Simon Haines, department manager at Sunshine Garden Centre explained what plants he helped the school children to select to create their impactful green wall. “The selection I put together included ferns, aloe vera, spider plants, dragon palm and rosemary and were chosen for specific reasons; firstly, they are all easy to look after, which is important when it is children that will be looking after them. Secondly all of these plants have the ability to supplement the oxygen in the classroom, in particular the ferns and spider plants which have both been recommended by NASA as being plants that are particularly good at removing toxins from the air.”


This project is a great example of how a simple idea can spark a positive change. Schools and community groups up and down the country are making positive changes and Cultivation Street wants to hear about them. The school’s category of the Cultivation Street competition sponsored by Calliope® is now closed but there is still time to enter the community garden category. For more information visit

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