school garden

school garden

Sunday, 19 June 2016

"Integrity is doing the right thing...

.. even when no one is watching"

C.S. Lewis

The warmer weather and gentle rain has ensured that the plants in the garden have put a growth spurt on and many now are in flower.  We hope that they will remain in flower for the open day which looms ever closer!

The blue bed in particular is looking stunning with an array of blue flowers which on warm days are covered in bees and other pollinating insects.


Bell flowered campanula


Anchusa azurea

Small flowered campanula


Cupid's Dart

 Around the Jurassic garden the ferns and the pseudopanax and tetrapanax are doing well and the 'tropical border' is filling out well with the banana plants reaching up with new luxuriant leaves.

The rheum and ligularias are thriving

The tropical bed

Giant chain fern under the tree fern

 The newly planted ornamental banana plant is enjoying the outside life. It has been planted among cannas and other 'hot ' flowering plants

The ornamental banana plant

A beautiful canna
 Behind the pond the woodland path has been re-opened.  The cow parsley has been particularly thick this year and it took a while to cut a way through but now access is provided along the fence line

the re-opened woodland walk

Yellow Flag and Ragged Robin at the pond edge

The wretched duckweed on the pond needs managing !

Slow worm found in the greenhouse

The newly positioned hanging baskets.

This male blackbird followed the lawn mower chasing disturbed food items!
The broad beans and potatoes in the WW2 garden

The Desiree crop of potatoes is in full flower
 A casual glance at the Asparagus plants revealed that we had been infested with Asparagus Beetles.  Not a garden friendly insect but nevertheless an attractive one!

Asparagus Beetle

Friday, 3 June 2016

"There are three things which cannot be long hidden...

the sun, the moon and the truth"


 The warm weather is continuing and the garden is responding well! The tree ferns are quickly growing new fronds in the Jurassic garden and the gunnera plant is growing some very large leaves. The geranium maderense is awash with colour and the tetrapanax tree has made a growth spurt and producing many leaves.

Geranium maderense

The tree ferns growing well

Tetrapanax tree

The Gunnera plant

 In the pond the Yellow Iris plants have just started to flower.  By the end of next week they should look magnificent.

Yellow Iris

Also in the pond dragonfly activity has been high with many Broad-bodied Chasers being observed.  This is our most common breeding species in the pond.

Female Broad-bodied Chaser

Male broad-bodied Chaser

The moth trap was set during the week and despite being a warm night strangely only few moths were trapped for examination. The most interesting were several specimens of Tachystola acroxantha.  This micro moth is thought to have originated from Australia and appeared in Britain in 1908.

The Miller

Least Black Arches

Tachystoma acroxantha
In recent days the school garden and indeed the whole of Weymouth has seen a mass immigration of plutella xylostella micro moths- also known as the Diamond Backed Moth

Plutella xylostella

 In the bee beds the small flowering Campanula and the Anchusa azurea are now flowering.  The bees were quick to find them.

Geranium "Orion"

Anchusa azurea

Nearby other plants are doing well and the 'Desiree' potato crop is looking good with flowers just starting to form

The potato patch

In the greenhouse the new venus-fly traps are doing well having been divided from the mother plant earlier in the year

Prior to finishing for the day a party of newly fledged Long-tailed tits were heard busily feeding in the garden.  With some detective work the young were found in the willow classroom waiting for the parents to return with food

Finally with a good prolonged dry spell of weather we were able to finish and 'sign off' the Jurassic look out.  The supporting posts have now been treated with bitumen paint at soil level to prolong the life of them.

The supporting posts now treated with bitumen paint

New safety notice on the look-out.  Please respect this!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

"Turn your face to the sun...

and the shadows fall behind you"

A Maori Proverb

With fine weather continuing the Garden Group have pushed on over the past week and started to catch up with many outstanding jobs and plantings.

The World War 2 garden is now finished for this year.  Potatoes and Broad Beans have been planted in the vegetable beds.  The  'James Grieve' apple tree is in full blossom at the moment.  We are hoping for a replacement curtain into the air raid shelter soon.

The World War 2 garden

The James Grieve apple tree in blossom

The 'lead in' bed to the Jurassic Garden has been tidied.  The magnificent Fatsia plants were getting choked with vegetation.  Now cleared the Fatsias and the unusual Corsican Hellibore have space to grow.  One Fatsia plant has shed a lot of leaves but this is normal as the plant slowly achieves a tree like status

The growing fronds on the new Tree Fern

Detail of the growing fronds- beautifully constructed

The remaining Tree Ferns have had a haircut.  The old fronds removed so that the new ones can reach for the light

Elsewhere some of the magnificent Echiums are in flower.  As they tower up into the sky the small blue flowers are very much liked by bees of all species

Magnificent Echiums

After a sudden shower raindrops trapped on the leaves on the Melianthus (Peanut Butter plant) were photographed

In the same bed some tidying up and weeding has taken place and a new Banana plant, which has been nurtured in the greenhouse during the winter months, has been positioned along with many Cannas

The new Banana plant
Transporting the large Banana plant to the site

 On the other side of the same bed the Geranium maderense plants have started to flower.  Masses of pink flowers should adorn the plants by the end of next week.

Geranium maderense

Detail of the flowers

Many of the ferns in the Jurassic garden are awaking after the winter months with lovely bright green and orange colours.

Fresh fronds on a smaller fern

The Bird Cherry trees are in flower now.  They have a heady scent.
 The old triangular bed has been dug over for this year, until we decide what to plant in it on a more permanent basis, we have planted Cannas, Gingers a decorative Banana and other spare Geranium maderense plants.
The revamped triangular bed.

Decorative Banana plant
 In the nest box by the Memory Garden a family of Blue Tits have moved in.  The eggs should hatch within days.

Mum sat tight on the eggs!
 Elsewhere the Robins are nesting somewhere close to the garden.  Both parents have been very busy this past week carrying food to their hungry chicks.

'Our' garden Robin
Finishing the blog,  we once again mention, as we did last year, the superb display of Thrift at Ferrybridge which is well worth a visit over the next week.  The best area is the one away from the Chesil Centre towards Portland where Vetch, Sea Campion all grow in with the Thrift.  We finish with some photographs of the area.

A carpet of Thrift towards Portland

Thrift towards the Chesil Centre

The delightful Sea Campion