school garden

school garden

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

"Learning without reflection is a waste.

Reflection without learning is dangerous"

Confucius

The school garden has had a busy few weekends with first the school and garden open day and just recently the two days opening for the National Gardens Scheme (NGS).  Prior to these events the garden was used by the pupils who proudly displayed their art week contributions.  These ranged from scarecrows, to mini dinosaur cut outs and Jurassic mobiles hanging from the trees.  Gardens and art always go well together.







A fine range of scarecrows also appeared






As a token gesture the garden group quickly entered into the spirit of things and created a large flowerpot man. 

The garden group's flowerpot man
 In the garden there is much interest.  One of the ferns now shows a stunning design of the fronds.

Attractive fern frond

'Black Russian' tomato variety

Profusion of Gaura flowers

Ligularia dentata

The Macleaya is growing well

Hanging baskets starting to fill out now

The helpers bed- scabious, geums, verbenas - all bee friendly!
Kiwi fruits- but will they develop!

7-spot ladybird just emerged from the larva case

Nature has also been busy. Butterflies have been very active with Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Large White, Red Admiral and Small Tortoishell all recorded on one day alone

An obliging Ringlet butterfly

Emperor dragonfly laying eggs in the school pond

Common Carder Bee on scabious flower

An industrious Red Tailed bumble bee- pollen sacks full!
A picture of the delightful mini dinosaur cut outs which adorned the garden.  They were beautifully decorated and designed

The mini dinosaur cut-outs

Regular readers will be aware that we are always staring at the sky.  This amazing cloud formation appeared late afternoon recently over the garden.  It was quite bizarre!

A cloud formation
Finally a very big thank you to the staff and pupils who contribute to the ethos and purpose of the school garden.  Also to the many visitors on the school open day and also over the NGS weekend.  We met several visitors from previous years and also many new ones.  A happy summer holiday to all we hope but the garden group though will be kept busy.  A new construction is in the offing.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

"The only time you should ever look back..

..is to see far you have gone"

An unknown quote.

Bearing this in mind it was a week ago last year when Henry arrived with his mini digger to clear and level the Jurassic garden area.



After a lot of hard work and generosity from many friends and local organisations we have now reached the stage where have our Jurassic garden.  It is only the first year but next year should be much better with more luxuriant grown and stature which will show off our planting regime much better.




In the greenhouse a spider is living a very precarious life. It has built a web inside the trumpet of the pitcher itself. The web was carefully positioned across the top of the pitcher.  If the spider made a mistake moving about inside the pitcher it would itself become prey- to the plant!

The spider living inside the pitcher!

The hanging basket flowers

 The hanging baskets have survived the first winds and are beginning to grow well.  The planting this year has been lobelia 'monsoon' and the new 'inca gold' trailing sunflowers.  At the moment the combination seems to work well.  Behind it the rambling rose and clematis add a further splash of colour.


The rambling rose
 The rambling rose, now in the fourth year, has produced a lot of scented blossom this year.  The perfume can be smelt whilst walking up the path and under the pergola



The penstemmon bed

The bees are very fond of these flowers

The flowering eryngium- a lovely steel blue

After three years the Eryngiums have flowered.  It was not a high success rate though as five plants were initially bought but only two have made it to flowering.


The kiwi plant flowers - they do not last long!
A casual glance at the frog house found several small frogs the size of a thumb nail but behind it amongst the vegetation the magnificent dragonfly was spotted.  It had recently emerged from the pond and was pumping up and drying its' wings-  it is a Southern Aeshna


Southern Aeshna
 Over the next few days the group will be getting the garden ready for the school fair on Saturday July 4th so do wander up the drive and look around.  There will be much to see and perhaps a few games to try out!


Monday, 15 June 2015

"Don't look now.....

..I'm right behind you"

A lyric by Laurie Anderson from "Pictures" on the excellent Brian Eno/Peter Schwalm album 'Drawn from Life'

Over the weekend the garden group were very busy.  Activities were curtailed for a while with the unexpected arrival of two intruders. A disturbance behind the eco-loo revealed a Velociraptor. These dinosaurs hunted by stealth.  Sudden movement had to be avoided!

The Velociraptor
Amongst the ferns more disturbance revealed a stalking T Rex. Luckily it was walking away from us

The stalking T Rex
Once calm had resumed the group continued with the gardening. The vegetable area is slowly coming along and with the warmer weather the plants are growing well.

The Pak Choi- netted because the Pigeons have developed a taste for it!

 Carrots, Beetroot,Cos lettuce, Turnips and Swiss Chard all doing well

The Desiree potatoes are in flower

The Runner Beans are finally climbing up the bamboos
In the flower beds blue is the colour of the month. A dazzling display from the geraniums and the campanulas is attracting a lot of bees into the garden


Geranium 'Rozanne'



Dwarf campanula

Tall bellflower with stunning blooms
It is hoped that the variety of campanulas now growing in the garden will attract the small black bee which feeds on these species.  We have not recorded it to date but are hoping that it will turn up pretty soon.

By the Stumpery the wild dog-rose has flowered.  A simple flower but very attractive

The Dog-Rose
The Tree ferns are doing well well thanks to a lot of regular watering which is essential in the first year of planting.  The trunks are like giant sponges and take in a lot of water.  This makes sure that the plant takes root and also provides for the growing of the magnificent fronds.


Tree fern fronds

The evening sun back lighting the tree fern
During the gardening our Robin often became very friendly perching as close to us as possible as we disturbed the ground.  It quickly nipped in for small caterpillars and other wriggly things!  It was feeding  youngsters just over the fence




In the World War 2 garden the James Grieve apple tree has plenty of fruit on his year

Fruit on the James Grieve apple tree
As the garden group packed up for the day there was a noisey disturbance behind the eco-loo.  The Velociraptor had woken up!

Time to go!