school garden

school garden

Monday, 17 February 2014

Catching up

"Whoso neglects learning in his youth,
Loses the past and is dead for the future".

Euripides.  from Phrixus

Following the recent spell of violent storms and torrential rain the garden group has  met on a couple of afternoons to assess the damage and make good where possible.  Most things survived but the greenhouse took the brunt of the storm on 15th Feb.  However the frame held firm and just six panes of glass succumbed to the forces of nature.  Following this damage it was decided to replace the glass with polycarbonate sheets.  The glass is now getting very old and brittle.  When Ron gave us the greenhouse four years ago it had been stood in his garden for many years.  We thank the Friends of Holy Trinity for their generous donation which made the purchase of the polycarbonate sheets possible.

The good news is that the polycarbonate has arrived and hopefully when we get a couple of calm  days we can take the greenhouse apart, re-fix onto a bed of breeze blocks and fix down again.  Once this has been done we can start the long job of reglazing.

After downloading the school weather station the strongest gust in the school garden on the night of the 15th February was 50mph (just over 22m/s).  Of interest is also the amount of rain which has fallen on the garden this month so far. From 120mm at the start of the month to 520 mm this Sunday- about 15 inches!  The storm earlier in the month 5th/6th February and again on the 12th February showed the maximum gusts to be about 38 mph. Click on the graphs to enlarge

The 50mph peak gust is clearly shown
The dramatic rise in recorded rainfall over the ten day period.

Sunday was spent giving the Willow Classroom a good haircut.  Willow grows very quickly in the Spring and it is essential to remove unwanted growth and direct it where we want it- at the base to consolidate the sides with green leaves and also to tie in the dome on the roof.

The Willow gets a trim!

A couple of butterflies and bees had stirred in the glorious sunshine and showed themselves off in the garden. A male Brimstone butterfly and a Small Tortoisehell were seen and a large (possibly a queen) Buff-tailed Bumblebee.   Bumble bees, a Drone Fly and a couple of Honey bees were also seen.

Brimstone butterfly resting on the warm ivy

Drone Fly wallowing in pollen

Queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee- possibly nest hunting whilst feeding

Finally during the morning a pair of Great Tits were very active in the garden suggesting that they were looking for a nesting site.  That is exactly what they finally did but they shunned the bird nest boxes and took a big interest in one of the bat boxes! The female made a couple of inspection visits and then flew off over the fence. Birds are not unknown to nest in bat boxes.  We will watch to see how things develop!

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