school garden

school garden

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

"People who do not know how to laugh..

are always pompous and self-conceited"

William Makepeace Thackeray

Bad weather has curtailed garden activity lately but a quick look around revealed that the raised bed in the memory garden needed urgent attention.  The wooden posts which have been there since 2008 are starting to rot and there was a fear that the bed would collapse or at the very least dry out. This raised bed has some very interesting ferns growing in it and along with the rotting stumps there are lichens, moulds and fungi.  Although quite small this bed is of great interest and it is the only place in the garden where we record the Lesser Stag Beetle

The wooden retaining posts are slowly rotting
New posts sourced from Mole Valley Farmers

All cut into uniform length for replacing

Storing to keep dry and paint and preserve before re-positioning
The posts will be treated with ducksback and the ends dipped in black damp proofing paint to hopefully prolong their lifespan.

The damp weather has produced some wonderful slime moulds.  Seeming to generate from the last delivery of bark chippings they provided a colourful, if not brief and interesting display

The ox eye daisies which were grown from seed were finally transplanted into the pond area.  Twelve healthy plants were moved from the cold frame and positioned along the sunny side of the pond where we hope next year they will give a good display.  Our friendly Robin was quick on the scene and was hopping about between the trowel and the plants quickly picking out tasty morsels.

The ox-eye daisy plants

"Is that a small worm I see?"

"Come on, keep digging"
In the greenhouse the flowers of the living stones are slowly dying away but the two Crassula plants have developed small flower buds.  One of the cactus plants was also in flower.

The flowering Crassula
The moth trap has continued to be operated on warm nights.  We are particularly keen this time of the year to trap the Oak Rustic moth.  Several specimens were trapped last year.  This rare species has a very small distribution in Dorset and we are keen to prove breeding in the school grounds where it thrives on evergreen Holm Oak trees.

The Robinson Moth trap

Feathered Ranunculus- a master in camouflage

With a break in the weather when calm returned there was an opportunity to set a  small mist net  and these delightful avian visitors were trapped and ringed

Long-tailed Tit

Male Blue Tit
Colour still remains in the garden and there are many flowers still in full bloom.  Along with them the trees are also looking good as the lack of a hard frost has meant that the trees have still retained many of their leaves.

Cherry trees

Field Maple

The grass garden providing architectural interest and colour
The Field Maple trees will have to be cut back over the winter period as they are contributing to the  demise of one part of the willow classroom.  They have become so big now that they are not only taking moisture away from the ground which the willow needs but also shading out the plants.  The group have decided that the willow classroom is more important than the Field Maple but a small shrub or tree  will be planted in place of it.

Finally with the school carol service looming an initial test run was made positioning the lighting which is traditionally used. The service will this year be held in the Jurassic Garden where the choir can use the lookout platform and the service  will carry much better and heard by everyone