The Land Rover Owners Ex Wife

……becoming me again

Gardening Club: Purple peas, polytunnel and perfectly nice surprises

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A pleasant surprise - the peas are flowering

A pleasant surprise – the peas are flowering

It is always a huge relief to get to school on a Monday and find everything in good order in the Courtyard Garden. Popping over to water the polytunnel during a hot weekend isn’t an issue but situated right in the middle of the school, only accessible from doors leading off from the corridors, the Courtyard is left to its’ own devices. This morning when I checked on the various plants residing there, I was delighted to see that the first of the purple podded pea flowers were open and looking stunning.

Bridging the gap!

Bridging the gap!

I hope to encourage the pea and bean plants to grow up and over the pergoda style beams that cross over the Courtyard and I have used more of my infamous green wool, to try and bridge the gap from the top of the trellis work to the beams and the peas seem to have grasped the idea and are now happily reaching upwards.

The nasturtium seems to like its' home

The nasturtium seems to like its’ home

Elsewhere in the Courtyard and the nasturtiums are definitely feeling very much at home and are now spreading their vines in every direction, dotting vibrant orange flowers wherever they go. Sharing a crate with one of the nasturtiums, is a swan river daisy, its’ tiny flowers adding yet more colour and interest to what is essentially a brown space.

Grandpas Runner beanThe winter squash never did get its’ companion cucumber and is benefiting from all the nutrients within its’ bed of compost and putting on serious growth and may, in time, rival the nasturtium for the amount of ground covered. Happily contained within their crates, are the lettuces, mixed salad leaves and newly emerged carrots whilst last years strawberry runners are flowering in the last of the back row boxes. In the raised beds and trough planters, the farm peas are also flowering and, from the sheer number of flowers beginning to show, I’d say that we may be in for a pretty good crop this year.

In the centre of the Courtyard, placed against one of the wooden posts, one of the ‘Grandpas’ runner bean has put on some height in the last few days and will hopefully look pretty spectacular if it reaches the top and starts to wind its’ way around the beams.

Meanwhile out in the polytunnel, things have been moving along nicely with the three cucumbers, one of the melons and the three cherry tomatoes all of which were planted into growbags last week, well settled and putting on inches in just a few days. Unfortunately, slugs have had a go atΒ  the other melon plant, chomping off the main growing vine. However, the plant hasn’t died and it looks like another vine is starting at one of the leaf joints, so fingers crossed that it can make a recovery. I still need to put the supporting canes in place for the tomatoes and with the rate of growth these plants have shown, I need to do this soon.

Polytunnel Montage 20130701The polytunnel also offered up a treat for the children this lunchtime as I was able to hand over seven luscious strawberries which were then included in the fruit option on the school dinners menu. I hope they tasted as good as they looked. The staging is still quite full and there are now two more seed trays of seedlings waiting to be potted on which will take an hour or so on Wednesday.

Back out amongst the raised beds and the first of the round ‘Tondo’ courgettes were picked and sent to the school kitchen. From the looks of the eight courgette plants, there is shortly going to be a surplus of courgettes which will be then split between the kitchen and parents. I was also able to get a few grams of baby broad beans from a handful of pods and as the Broad beans were never really supposed to be for ‘cropping’, they were sown as a green manure, this small harvest is a bonus.

Aprons, kneelers and books

Aprons, kneelers and books

At the last meeting of the schools PTA it was agreed that they would fund the purchase of some protective aprons for the gardening club children and after much googling, I found some lovely ones online, with a company in Grantham, called Garden Gear.

These have arrived today and are gorgeous. There are two designs and we’ve bought five of each. I was very much impressed with incredibly helpful Emma who also included ten childrens’ kneelers and six copies of a gardening book for children, in with the order, free of charge.

The gardening club children will look resplendent in their new aprons, come the Community Day and summer fare in a few weeks and I am fairly sure they will be a welcome sight for the parents, especially on outside gardening days πŸ™‚

6 thoughts on “Gardening Club: Purple peas, polytunnel and perfectly nice surprises

  1. It is great to be able to do that at a school. Are the children tempted by the peas as they go by?

    • Actually they know that they can’t just help themselves because one of the rules about the school garden in general (flower or veg) is not to eat anything you find with out permission just in case it’s poisonous. Health and Safety would come down on us like a tonne of bricks if they thought the children could pick the veg and eat it at will – sad but a sign of the times.

      That said when the pods form and swell, I’ll be able to pick a few and let the gardening club children try what they have grown – well there has to be some advantages to giving up part of their lunchtimes πŸ˜€

  2. What fabulous work you’re doing. I’d love to start a kitchen garden at our school πŸ™‚

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