school garden

school garden

Monday, 17 October 2011

Late autumn colour

A stock taking walk around the garden after filling the bird feeders this afternoon revealed that there was still a lot of colour left in the school garden. The most outstanding flowers at the moment have to be the wonderful cosmos. They were very  late in flowering and should only have been 18 inches high.

The plants failed miserably on both counts. Some of them stand  6 foot high in places and have just started to flower. They have stems like small trees. A great bonus is that the squirrels have not eaten them! Below are a few pictures of the magnificent flowers.

Returning to the bird feeders. The Goldfinchs have at long last found the nyjer seed. There were twelve birds perched on the feeder this afternoon. The fat balls are disappearing at nine a day.

Male Greenfinch

On sunday a net was positioned over the pond to catch the leaves as they fall from the Sycamore trees. It was positioned high enough to let the birds in under the net and drink. Blackbirds, Robins, Chaffinchs, Goldfinchs Greenfinchs and Pied Wagtails all regularly drink at the pond

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Living Stones

As promised this update shows the flowering Living Stone plants in the greenhouse.  The plants were not discovered until 1811 by a botanist called William Burchell.  They occur mainly in Namibia and South Africa and are found in the deserts. Usually they receive less than 700 mm of rain a year and some rely only on dew formation on the plants themselves for moisture.  The plants will not survive overwatering in this country.

Next year it is hoped to have a small desert garden in the greenhouse with other small succulent plants and cactii. These small delicate plants deserve great attention. They survive in very tough conditions in the wild and astound us with simple and delightful flowers.

Don't mention the squirrels! Too late. They have now found the few rotting pumpkins and have started to eat these as well.

The squirrels do not know that the seeds taste even better if baked in the oven

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A strained relationship!

The squirrels are now pushing an already rocky  relationship just a little too far. They continue to eat anything and everything that they can find in the school garden. They have finished eating all of the sunflower seeds and  have now moved onto the sweet corn cobs. In the space of just a few days they have caused a lot of damage to the sweet corn crop. Some squirrels are eating the cobs whilst still on the plants. There are now half eaten cobs all over the garden and one cheeky squirrel even removed a cob on sunday morning during a work party and proudly carried it into the willow classroom and sat on one of the log seats and enjoyed a late breakfast.

This is pushing things a little too far! Perhaps a recipe of squirrel pie pinned to the door of the shed might deter them. There are some lovely boletus mushrooms on the school premises which would flavour the sauce wonderfully.

Before the squirrels have a chance to investigate the pumpkins we have now harvested most of them and stored them in the garden HQ shed. There are a few left to ripen but already three have started to rot so it its time to put them to one side until we decide what to do with them.  They are under lock and key so the squirrels should not find these.