school garden

school garden

Monday, 25 January 2016

"Better bread with water..

than cake with trouble"

 Russian proverb

The wet weather in early January has curtailed gardening operations.  We cannot dig or weed as the soil is so wet there is fear of compacting it which is not good.  However there is always something to do.  Many small jobs have been carried out. 

The weather over the past two weeks has been very varied.  The garden has seen 40mph gusts of wind, frost, ice on the school pond and over the weekend temperatures of 12C.

This was the first time that the pond had frozen over this winter.

Detail on the ice

Nature has a way of creating wonderful design as shown on this frosted leaf

Over the weekend the finishing touches were made to the Jurassic Lookout platform.  The stepping stones which allow access have been laid and it is now clear to be used.  We hope that it will be used constructively and provide the children with the excitement of a different view over the Jurassic Garden for drawing and observations. The structure is not a play item.

The stepping stones leading to the Jurassic platform

It was a bit of a frog weekend!  There seemed to be frogs everywhere.  One -a regular friend- lives in the green tool shed.  It usually scuttles away before the camera can be produced but this time we managed to photograph it!  Another frog seemed keen to pose for the camera.

One morning whilst enjoying the daffodils a Hoverfly  was found sheltering from the frost in the cup of the flower.  This winter we have seen several Hoverflies which is very unusual.  This one awaits identification

This wasp was also discovered in a lethargic state.  It is a Common wasp - identified by the inverted mushroom room shape on the face.  The jaws are wide open and coloured yellow.  Another unusual winter find.

It was time to prune the James Grieve apple tree in the World War 2 garden.  The tree looks much better and hopefully will produce another crop of delicious apples.

The pruned apple tree
The Snowdrops have also appeared and around the garden there are small clumps of these delightful flowers.


Work in the greenhouse has continued.  We have acquired a few new succulent plants and a splendid cactus.
The cactus has very large curved spines.  It is of the Ferocactus type and it is thought from old documents that the Mohave Indians used the spines in early days as fish hooks and the central vein stripped from yucca leaves as fishing line.  The spines are very sharp and the plant has to be treated with great respect.  It has wonderful flowers which in the wild are pollinated by birds and insects.

Ferocactus or Fish Hook cactus
Two other succulents have been sourced

Possibly Echiveria agavoides

Possibly Haworthia limifolia

The cold weather has spurred the Pseudoplanax plants and they have grown considerably over the past two months and now showing fabulous green leathery leaves.


After  working in the gloom and the grey for most of the day it was a bit of a boost to see the sun appear just before it set in the West.  We close this blog update with the obligatory sunset picture!

The setting sun