school garden

school garden

Thursday, 27 October 2016

"Leadership is an opportunity to serve-

it is not a trumpet call to self importance"

J  Waters

The prevailing easterly winds which  recently blasted the country brought with them a lot of small birds from Russia, in fact some from as far as Siberia.  The town was full of Yellow-browed Warblers.  They were seen all along the nearby Rodwell trail and two birds were even recorded in the school garden

A Yellow-browed Warbler

In recent days the Living Stones (Lithops) have burst into flower in the greenhouse.  These delightful flowers do not last long but are always eagerly awaited through the summer months.

Yellow lithops

White lithops
Also in the greenhouse the "fish-hook" cactus is looking good with the top spikes looking very splendid

"Fish-hook" cactus

With the approach of colder weather prevention is better than cure and our ornamental banana plant has been trimmed and stored indoors.  It will rest all winter in a bucket of compost and leaf mulch and be replanted next April.  The treatment looks drastic but it will recover- honestly!

Awaiting the cut!

looks a little drastic!

The fabulous leaves laid out on the grass

The finished product prior to be planted in compost and leaf mulch
Tell tale evidence of Greenfinch activity has been noted under the giant sunflower plants.  The seeds are now ripe and ready for eating and the birds are quick to cash in.

Hard evidence!

The heavily laden sunflower seed head

The tetrapanax is in flower.  These magnificent flower heads adorn the monster sized leaves.  Next year the plant should be even more impressive.


The bizarre blue flowers of the 'scardey cat plant' (Coleus canina)continue to bloom.  The plant releases a very strong smell when touched or disturbed and it is said that this smell deters cats.  The flowers are similar to salvias.

Even by mid morning, in places where the sun has not yet reached overnight rain drops still sit on leaves.  These drops are on the peanut butter plant.

The flower sprout plants are rapidly developing the delicious flower sprouts and hopefully they will be ready for Xmas.  Different from brussel sprouts these plants produce very small cabbages at the leaf axil.  They are delicious with butter.

Flower Sprout plants

Detail of the forming flower sprouts
Work has started on the pond and will continue next weekend.  A lot of vegetation has been cut back to get light onto it during the winter months and the next stage is to remove a lot of the water lilies which are now clogging up the pond and reducing open water which Pond Skaters and Water Boatmen love.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

"Work for a cause..

not for applause"


The Autumn equinox has passed and we slowly slide into winter now.  Fortunately the weather is still good and there is a lot of colour and interest in the garden.  Insects are still very common.  Over the past week we have recorded Large White, Small White, Painted Lady, Comma and Red Admiral butterflies and around the pond several Migrant Hawker and Common Sympetrum dragonflies. An interesting hoverfly was also recorded- possibly Xanthogramma pedissequum but this small group of hoverflies maybe split even further with discovery of another species within the group. Hummingbird Hawk moths have also been recorded recently

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

Comma butterfly

Xanthogramma pedissequum
Wing detail of the hoverfly which helps identifiaction
The canna's and ornamental banana continue to grow and the height of the canna plants is well over six feet.  They are a stunning show as you walk up the path.  The grass garden also looks good when the plot is backlit by the sun

Grass Garden

Canna and Banana plant
In the greenhouse we have prepared for winter and the time when plants have to be put back in there for frost protection.  We have washed and cleaned the inside with Jeyes Fluid and will shortly start putting the tender plants back inside.  One of the succulent plants has recently flowered and the 'donkey tail' succulent
 is growing well once it was moved from snail access!

'Donkey-tail' succulent

Still lots of colour and interest

Aster which is providing late nectar for bees

Giant Russian sunflowers- the birds will love the seeds

Flying the flag!

Ox-eye daisy plants grown from seed and ready to plant out.

The garden group will continue to work most weekends over the winter period- weather permitting.  Anybody with an interesting in gardening or just enjoying pottering about is always welcome to join us. Please leave your name at the school office desk and we can get in touch with you.