school garden

school garden

Thursday, 31 May 2012

IF.........(part two)

"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same"

Apologies for delving back into Kipling but sadly the pair of nesting Blue Tits met these two imposters.  'Triumph' that the eight chicks in the nest box were doing well but then' Disaster' when recent extreme weather caused the poor chicks to perish as the adults could not get out and about to get food for them

Moving on though to more exciting things. The Gardening Club had a successful session yesterday and encompassed several jobs around the garden. This included mainly weeding and planting onions and other vegetable seeds. Some potting on of smaller plants was also undertaken.

Just before the children gathered the first dragonfly of the year on our pond put in a brief appearance - a delightful male Broad-bodied Chaser

Whilst collecting some pots to transplant some flowers a slow worm was spotted

The Red Mason bees were very active as they are now hatching out of the bamboo canes which are places around the garden. These are delightful bees to watch and very much the gardeners friend

Red Mason Bee

Red Mason Bee leaving bamboo home

Other garden news include the erection of a new shed kindly donated by our friends at B and Q. This will be our machinery shed and used to store heavier items which will leave more space in our other shed for tools.

Over the half term it is hoped to arrange a working party to have a general tidy up and also to make a start on the eco-loo building

The class plots are starting to look good with a lot of effort and thought having been put in by both teachers and pupils alike. Hopefully on our Open day - June 23rd - many people will turn up and enjoy the garden

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

An ornithological slant...

This morning the pair of Blue Tits which had nested in the green nest box were very busy feeding their chicks.  The chicks hatched on Saturday morning and for the next two weeks the adults will be very busy making hundreds of trips around the garden looking for caterpillars to feed the eight youngsters.

Mum off on another caterpillar hunt

Not singing just very hungry!

The new bird hide is almost complete and just needs a few finishing touches to it.  Just ten minutes this morning spent watching produced some good close views of our school garden birds.  The first birds seen this morning were a pair of House Sparrows feeding on the seed. Then a Woodpigeon dropped in..........

The bird watching hide

House Sparrows feeding at close range

If the Pigeon is here it is not eating anything else

Over the weekend the class beds were also numbered. There are a few more to do but most of them are now numbered

Class Plot 3

Close up detail Plot 3

The Wheat, Barley and Oats are surviving and have now germinated successfully and growing well and it seems that the third effort to exclude the pigeons has worked.  They are however still pulling up the onions but the Blackbirds may be culprits here. More netting over the weekend!

An interesting Digger Wasp was discovered this morning and hopefully the next blog will name the insect.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

New arrivals

This morning the pitcher plants arrived and after carefully unwrapping them they have been positioned in the greenhouse.  Many are found in Carolina in the United States of America but they do occur elsewhere in the world.  They are carnivorous plants and eat flies mainly but anything which lands on the pitcher and takes a peep inside will be welcomed for lunch! The inside of the pitcher holds no grip for the insect and it slides down into the base and becomes the next meal.

As the last picture shows RAIN WATER only for these plants.  There are two white buckets in the greenhouse with rain water in them. Please only use this for these plants and not anything else in the greenhouse.  They do not like salts and minerals.  Sitting on a bed of wet moss they should survive.

Recent insects in the garden include the Bee-fly which occurs at this time of the year and an unusual mining bee Colletes daviesanus which lives underground often in large colonies. Pictures of these next time