school garden

school garden

Saturday, 16 April 2016

"Peace comes from within,

do not seek it without"


Repair work to 'Terry' the Pteranadon has continued over the previous week and this weekend he was proudly flying again.  The Garden Group are very grateful indeed to Erika at S3i for help with the speedy preparation of steel rope and fittings which now keeps Terry airborne and also Mike at Apollo Marine for advice and help with sourcing suitable material to secure the shackles to the steel rope.

New head already for installation

Metal pole has replaced the old wooden pole for extra strength

4mm steel rope and fittings supplied by S3i

An intricate junction of steel wire and fittings

'Terry' is flying again!

About the garden things are moving quickly as the warm weather picks up.  Temperatures in the green house rise quickly and the automatic windows open to keep things a little cooler.

The banana plant is slowly reaching for the sky

The re-potted Bird-of-Paradise plant is doing well

The succulents are enjoying the warmer temperatures

The Canna plants are also responding to the warmer temperatures

The delicate flowers of the Echivera plant

Outside the greenhouse the recently sown Barley has quickly germinated.  Netting is required to stop the hungry Woodpigeons grazing on it.

The Barley has quickly germinated

The Shallots are doing well

Tulipa clusiana 'Cynthia'

The Rodgersia has awoken from the winter slumber

The first blossom of the year

Field Maple leaves bursting forth

Over the next two weeks the garden will be planted up with various vegetables and flowers.  Particular attention being paid to bee friendly plants.  The World War 2 beds have already been planted with potatoes and broad beans.

With five species of bees being identified recently on one afternoon we await the summer months so that we can hopefully identify some more species new to the garden

Thursday, 31 March 2016

"You will not be punished for your anger

You will be punished by your anger"


 Storm Katie recently tore through the school garden at speeds of 80 mph. It was with some trepidation that the garden was visited on Monday afternoon.  Fearing the worst that the greenhouse would have been destroyed it was found not to be!  Only 5 panes of polycarbonate had been blown out.  Four were recovered from around the garden and a fifth had to made from spare material but within twenty minutes the greenhouse had been made secure again.

However Terry, our resident Pteranodon had suffered.  The violent winds had twisted the structure badly and a couple of the guys had snapped and the head  broken.

However work has started already to replace the head and we hope to have it restored by the weekend.

About the garden the improving weather has meant that the garden group can push on.  The Celeriac plants have been pricked out and potted up.  They will stay in the pots for a little longer until the time is right to plants them out.

The Celeriac plants

 In the greenhouse the warmth has produced a lot of growth in the plants within.  The Lithops (Living Stones) have started their annual transformation as the outer leaves die off and new ones grow from within. The plants must not be watered again until all the plants have grown the new leaves


The insectivorous plants, Sundews and Venus fly-traps, have been replanted in a more bog like environment and they look healthy after their transplanting.

The Banana plants have made rapid growth over the past week,. 

In the grass garden the decorative minature tulips and Anemone blanda are in flower

Minature tulips

Anemone blanda

The surplus timber which the garden group have had stored against the neighbour's wall has now all be re-positioned on a purpose built trestle behind the sheds.  It is now out of sight.

The new timber store

The final job of the day was to tidy up the hose which had been on the ground.  New brackets were sourced and the hose is now wound in a tidy fashion safely out of the way.

The tidy hosepipe!

Finally there is to be a working party in the garden this Saturday April 2nd  from 12.00 till 16.00.  All welcome.  There is much to do from planting potatoes to painting up the bird hide, the fence and the garden sheds.  Do bring old clothes.   Tea and biscuits will be available! 

  Image result for clipart gardening

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

"The person who says that it cannot be done,

should not interrupt the person doing it"

A Chinese proverb.

Recent fine weather has meant that the garden group has been able to tackle a lot of outstanding jobs.  Wildlife too, has not been standing still and overnight the shallow end of the pond was full of frog spawn.  A lot of the tadpoles will be predated as they grow into small frogs and hopefully leave the pond to develop.  Twenty nine adult frogs were counted at one stage.

A few of the frogs

The mass of frog spawn.

The garden has four tit type nest boxes but one afternoon both Great tit and Blue Tit were investigating the same nest box.  The Great Tit will win for sure as it is a lot larger.  The Blue Tits can use the box by the Woodland Walk where they usually nest.

Male Great Tit investigating the nest box

Minutes later a male Blue Tit was also investigating
The group were lucky to have a contact who had some rotting manure for free and a quick visit was made to collect twenty bags.  The compost should have been dug in at the end of the last year but the weather was not good for that. The manure has now all be spread and dug in on the vegetable beds.

The dung heap has a good view of the Fleet!

All loaded up

Spreading over the large edible garden bed

The World War 2 bed was also treated
It was also time to trim the Willow Classroom back to shape.  Over a year the willow can grow 6 to 8 feet so this needs to be trimmed back to encourage growth lower down.

The Willow Classroom regains its' shape
In the greenhouse one of the Echeveria plants has developed three flowering stems.  This is the first time that this plant has flowered and we await the flowers to see what they look like

The Echeveria plant

 Around the garden other flowers have appeared.  The beautiful Iris reticulata has flowered.  The blooms unfortunately do not last long.

Iris reticulata

In detail

The area containing the class beds also needed looking at as the planks which had served for many years were finally rotting. We sourced four very heavy untreated oak sleepers to replace them.  The sleepers should last for many years.

The new sleepers

The old rotting planks

Moving the heavy sleepers

Almost finished

Job done!

The sleepers will be left for a week to settle before they get bedded in properly.  The membrane and bark chips will then be back-filled

A new addition to the garden has been "Compo".  He appeared overnight and stands guardian to the property.

 It is hoped that the other redundant compost bins can be used in a similar way.  The garden group have got their thinking caps on!

The last of the daffodils to open and flower

Spring Cellandines in the pond area

The fossil signs have also been fixed to the Portland Stone mounts.  It is hoped that pupils will learn from them and be able to take rubbings as well.

Finally after many attempts to catch the intruder in the pond a stealth attack was made last friday afternoon and met with success.  The goldfish has been removed from the wildlife pond.  It has gone to a good home nearby!

Got you at last!

The garden group always welcome new helpers.  Please make yourselves known to the school office for contact details.