The idea for greenery first came from students, who suggested that we get plants in the classroom. You can see this on our brainstorming wall that I sent out to students before I started the project. Of course it would have been easier to go with artificial plants, but research shows that plants increase attention and working memory. This was something I could not pass up.
Here is what the annex looked like. We forgot to take a proper 'before' shot before we cleared the rug and started getting ready, but you get the idea:
- artificial vines around the walls leading inside the classroom (as if the vines are bursting in)
- green walls/ nature wallpaper
One of staff members, Daniel French, suggested making it look similar to the Jungle Room at Elvis Presley's Graceland.
Anyway I bought the rug first. I found this at Ikea (of course!). Check it out:
The hardest thing to decide was how to do this. There were a number of vertical plant makers online and I found a few at Bunnings and Flower Power, but they were too small. I wanted it to fill the wall on the right hand side.
I have always like the look of lattice so I decided that I would install that to the wall. Of course this is also difficult, being that we are working with a demountable. The wall itself was already falling apart! It is very thin and has been breaking due to water leaking.
I called on one of the staff members to help out, Daniel French. He screwed 3 planks of wood to the wall to give the lattice the extra support. 2 of these pieces of wood were already there and used as umbrella racks. He simply took these off and repositioned them.
An ex-student of mine had been keeping track of the project through Facebook. She suggested that I purchase these hanging pots from Bunnings which come with a water saving base. This way we could just untwist the base and empty the water when we need to. This was a great idea and they were relatively cheap too! See below: