school garden

school garden

Monday, 28 September 2009

Bennetts Water Gardens Donate plants for our school pond.

Here is a list of the plants that Bennetts Water Gardens have donated to our school pond this autumn:

Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, Kingcup)

Carex pendula (pendulud sedge)

Ceratophyllum demersum (hornwort)

Cyperus longus (sweet galingale)

Juncus inflexus (hard rush)

Lychnis flos-cuculi (Ragged Robin)

Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)

Myosotis scorpiodes (water forget-me0not)

Nymphoides peltata (water fringe)

Stratiotes aloides (water soldier)


Thank you very much to Bennetts Water Gardens.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The Building of the Pond

There was only really one place in the school garden area that was suitable for the pond that the children had asked for, and that was to the right of the main path before the Gardening Club bed and the Dorset Cereals Garden.
Many months of planning and scouring the internet took place before the final decision on the size and type of pond was reached. Lots of photos of other school ponds were looked at and many considered not good enough for our school.
What we wanted had to be, not so small, that it became choked with vegetation. Not too shallow, so it dries out too easily in a hot summer. Not too deep, that a child can't be easily reached and yanked out. Deep enough for good pond dipping, with a reasonable sized platform to accommodate several children safely at once. With a bank to use up the spoil from the pond, that can be planted with wild flowers. Also a bog garden so that a wide selection of pond wildlife will be encouraged to colonise the area. And for the wildlife, a shallow beach so that if they fall in by accident, they can climb out.

And finally, we needed a good pond contractor who knew what he was doing and who would construct a pond to last for a long time without maintenance. And here it is...

This was the plot that was picked for the pond. It was marked out with a yellow hose to start with, extended in size over time and finally marked out with paint by Goddards the landscaper whilst consulting with Samantha and Helen, on the day before commencement.

The first day of work mid August

A hole in the ground, a bog garden and a bank... really!

Tall posts for the pergola that will cover the main path. Short posts for the safety fence. Nice, smooth, soft sand to line the pond. Well it was smooth when they left that evening, but...

Overnight the resident school fox and by the look of it some of her pals, had a sand bunker party and trampled all over the smooth sand!
Nothing that couldn't be put right.

A soft blanket layer went over the sand, then the really thick liner and finally some water.

The pebble edging goes down. Larger pebbles mixed with small ones.

The framework for the dipping platform is laid.

Pond nearly full of water and the platform nearly finished.

A sturdy all weather platform that will feature information and safety boards on the back wall.


Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The garden over the summer

Amazing to think that just 14 months ago we were faced with a wilderness and an unassembled show garden stacked in heaps. What a busy time we've had - I defy anyone not to be impressed.

1. We manually cleared the site
2. Got the show garden rebuilt and tended to all the plants in pots whilst building took place
3. We replanted all of the show plants and even harvested the apples.
4. We assessed the remaining space and made plans
5. We cleared and levelled an area for raised beds which we assembled and installed in time for Easter
6. We sourced local willow from Abbotsbury Swannery, made new friends and planted Dorset's first living willow classroom and furnished it with logs donated by the Forestry Commission.
7. We bid for and got £10,000 lottery money and made more plans
8. The school community raised another £10,000
9. We bought and put up a shed
10. We researched, and planned and got quotes for a pond - then we got the pond built by Goddards Landscapes Ltd who did a first class job. (See Separate blog on Pond Building)
11. We were donated £2,000 from Holy Trinity Church for a memory garden
12. We researched, and planned and got quotes for the memory corner - then we got it designed and built by Roger Lanigan of Mayfield Rustics, who prodoced a lovely, unique, quiet area for us.

Well done to everyone who contributed!

Enjoy the fruits of our labours in these photos.....

The show garden

Still a mess but getting there

January snow (rare in Weymouth)
Raised bed area under way

Marking out the willow classroom

Willow entrance tunnel

Our new shed

Raised beds ready for use

Raised beds used

Memory corner started

Pond started