I am ashamed to say that as much as my own garden has received minimal attention this year for a variety of reasons, the school garden has received even less than that, bordering on none at all, although I did do a decent session of weeding and clearing early in the year. Events at the start of the year, regards my anaemia and the ensuing tests and appointments that have dogged the months since, knocked me for six and it was only in the last few weeks that I began to feel more like myself but with this improvement has come guilt over the dire state of my own beloved vegetable plot, a guilt which was further compounded when I saw the state of the school raised beds when the school reopened on Tuesday. As for the poly tunnel, well I didn’t even think about walking round to the back of the building and looking in on that, as there was nothing growing in it!
School may be closed for the summer with the pupils enjoying a well earned break but the garden hasn’t stopped growing and neither have the weeds. I feel a stint of much needed garden tidying coming on and hopefully I’ll have two Mudlets as willing helpers. Continue reading
I like a bargain just as much as the next person and can often be found working out the best value per 100g in the supermarket, to check if a so called offer is really as good as it is meant to sound but I have always worked on the thought that a bargain is only a bargain if you actually need it in the first place. Freebies, on the other hand, need to be treated with greater care and given a lot more though as, depending on where you are getting your freebie from, you could find yourself swamped in junk emails or snail mail and even then, it might not be all you thought it was going to be, often proving the adage ‘too good to be true’ correct. Continue reading
Several sessions of Gardening Club have been held now and I have to say that the children are phenomenal. The youngest of the members is only 4 years old and yet he handles the seedlings like a pro, showing a level of care and tenderness belying his age. However, what is really good to see, is that those children who have been members for the last couple of years or so, are helping the newbies, showing them how to do things, guiding them without taking over and these simple actions have helped chase away the last of the doubts I had after the disappointment and disheartening events of last Autumn. Here, in my small group of children, I have learned that whatever else happens in terms of not being able to get people to take and use the harvest, the vegetable patch has brought out the best in these young people, encouraging them to be tolerant, have patience and to help others, even, as was the case with one of my 6 year old gardeners on Wednesday, if by doing so, you miss out on the fun task of planting your own plant that session (she ran out of time). Continue reading
Seventeen children signed up for Gardening Club this time around, split over two sessions per week but as they are mostly from the younger classes, each session is only 15 to 20 minutes long, depending on what needs to be done. Within the two groups we have two children responsible for watering and weeding the plants in the Foundation Area and another two older children, watering the plants in the poly tunnel. Continue reading
Having ignored the school garden for most of the autumn/winter, the last couple of weeks before the Easter break proved quite challenging, with my dedicated little gardeners regularly asking when Gardening Club was starting again. To be honest, up until then I had still been in two minds whether or not I wanted to invest more of my time in a project that seemed to be lacking support in almost all quarters. However, over the last couple of weeks, I have begun to feel that my band of gardeners deserve to have their enthusiasm recognised and so on Wednesday, Little Mudlet and I went to the garden and set about weeding the beds I needed for onions, potatoes and parsnips …… preparing for Gardening Club. Continue reading
The more observant of you will have noticed that in recent weeks, there has been a distinct lack of posts relating to gardening. Naturally this time of the year sees a drop off in garden related activity, as crops come to the end of their cycle, the colder weather sets in and thoughts turn to garden maintenance and preparation for next season. But this year there is a much more prevalent factor behind my lack of posts, a sadness which has over come me, an over whelming sense of disappointment which has driven my ‘get up and go’ right out of the country, never mind the room.
About four years or so ago, a willow structure was installed on the grounds of the school beside which the vegetable patch is now situated. For the most part it has flourished in that area and has become a favourite with both the staff and children, offering a quiet place for a child and their friends to sit if, for example, they are carrying an injury which precludes them from joining in the rough and tumble of the playground. It has also been used as an outdoor class room.
Unfortunately, as can be seen from these pictures, it is rather high maintenance and needs regular pruning/sculpting to maintain its’ shape but this falls well outside the scope of my capabilities. Continue reading
Having left the compost and topsoil to settle for a couple of weeks, last Friday I finally helped the Foundation and Year 1 children sow the seeds in the largest of the new planters. Wearing their brand new little aprons and armed with a pair of gardening gloves, the 4 to 6 year olds came out in groups of 6 and listened carefully as I told them what they needed to do and I have to say that they were a pleasure to work with.
With the Foundation Area planters assembled and in position, it became apparent that there was a slight problem with them……..they were obviously designed for slightly older children and as a result, were too tall for the Foundation/Year 1 pupils.