school garden

school garden

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




Wednesday, 11 May 2016

"We shape clay into a pot..

.. but it is the emptiness inside that we want"

A Zen saying

Summer has arrived at long last with temperatures reaching 20C.  In the skies above the garden over the weekend Swifts were screaming and performing daredevil acrobatics and butterflies were everywhere. The group recorded Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Large White, Red Admiral and Small White butterflies.  Bees also were evident with many queen bees darting about the garden looking for nest sites.  Several Tree Bumblebees were also seen which suggests that they now have a stronghold in the area.

Male Orange Tip

Red Admiral


Swift - or Devil Bird

About the garden the warmer weather has kick started many plants.

The delightful orange tulips are flowering for the second year

The spectacular Cherry blossom which attracts many bees

Species tulip in the grass garden

Marsh Marigold- or Kingcup on the pond edge

The delicate flowers of the Amelanchier 
 The Amelanchier was moved from the back of the garden at the end of last year and is clearly enjoying the new situation.  The delicate white flowers contrast with the small dark leaves.  Alas the flowers do not last long and leave just the foliage for the rest of the year.

In the green house some of the cacti plants are flowering.  One plant has a magnificent carmine flower and the other a subtle desert pale pink.  Again, these flowers do not last long



 Recently the  Sundew, Venus fly-trap and Pinguicula plants were planted together in a mini bog garden which made them look more natural than in separate pots.  They have responded well to the move and now the Venus Fly-trap plants are in flower.


The mini Bog garden 

 Work has been  carried out in the Willow Classroom where minor repairs were made to help retain the basic dome shaped structure.  Lengths of willow were sourced from Abbotsbury Swannery  to whom we are very grateful





The Barley has germinated and is growing well.  We managed to keep the hungry Woodpigeons away from the sprouting seeds and now have five rows of healthy looking Barley plants.  We have sown wild field poppies in with the seed.

The rows of Barley

 Our Neighbours have kindly given us a lot of tomato plants of various varieties.   The plants have been put in the cold frame for the time being until we have sorted them out.


The trolley laden with the Tomato plants
On the Saturday evening the moth trap was set. Unfortunately rain - which was not forecast- put a damper on things with only three species of moths caught.  However two Puss Moths were not to be sneezed at!

Angle Shades

Puss Moth
The construction of the Jurassic Garden has now  been completed.  The two entrances into the garden have been marked with two pieces of Portland Stone.  Each stone has been decorated with artwork by children from Mrs Palmer's class.    The standards were very  high and it was difficult to choose two pictures but we finally decided on the two pieces below. The Jurassic Garden will be officially opened on the Open Day Saturday July 9th.



Saturday, 16 April 2016

"Peace comes from within,

do not seek it without"

Buddha


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