Saturday, 7 March 2009

It's been a whole year

There is so much to write about where do I begin ?
"I love spring anywhere, but if I could chooseI would always greet it in a garden.-" Ruth Stout

I cant think of any reason why I haven't posted in a whole year so I will use the old excuse that I was too busy.

On this note so much has been happening that I will try and put everything in a list and bring you up to date as quickly as possible.

  • We received a runner up award in the "groundworks environmental high school of the year" category

  • The wildlife area is well established The pond thanks to karen Tansey and pupils is full of life(see pic) it is a haven for the cutest newts .Groundworks also came in and helped pupils build 4 huge raised beds.

  • Three of the raised beds were put in the library light well and one in the wildlife area

  • The raised beds were filled with a ton of organic compost from "Fairfield’s accredited compost which is made from wholesale market fruit & vegetable waste.

  • The middle light well has three raised beds and this year will be the second season of growth

  • The middle light well also has three large wall planters that are extremely eye catching when they are in bloom.

  • We planted hedgerows around the school perimeter

  • The year seven pupils took part in an environmental day and each child was given a rare wild flower to plant around the school grounds we hope to see them bloom this spring.

  • The original garden in the food room light well is very well established and provides a base for our thriving gardening club.

  • Mrs Tansey spent a day planting herbs in tin cans with year 9 pupils.

  • The food room light well has a well established herb garden which provides fresh herbs for food technology lessons.
  • Last summer we grew three huge tubs of potatoes

  • Big news thanks to Mike Hardisty's DIY prowess we know have a GREENHOUSE in the food room light well.

  • The greenhouse will enable pupils to take part in growing all year round

  • The school has undergone a £7.5 million refurbishment and which has provided us with a huge new central gardening area.


We start filling the greenhouse this Monday , we have already started an assortment of tomato plants which will hopefully do well with a greenhouse to provide the essentials to speed up the rate of photosynthesis(scientist in me).lots of herbs and salad vegetables that can be used by pupils in food technology.We also want to try our hand at growing some mini vegetables I have just ordered some "munchkin pumpkin" seeds of the Internet because they are so cute. The strawberry patch is full and we manage to get a lot of new plants from it every year. The wildlife garden needs a good clean up and we will be sewing some more wildflowers on the grass banking.We also need to plant the 3 large raised beds in the library light well last year we had one full of runner beans and another with Cosmos we will do the same again this year but might use green beans this time.

The New project

The new garden needs to be filled the main area is filled with a Cotswold yellow gravel so we plan to put in a selection of grasses, and some interesting rocks!!! not sure what yet . The centre piece in the garden will feature a sundial which Mrs judge has offered t buy us with profits from "fair trade week".We have planted two climbing passion flowers that Karen Tansey propagated from a seed pod from my mothers plant. My mum died in February last year so these plants mean a lot to me and I am looking forward to watching them bloom. The flower bed area needs to be planted as well as filling an assortment of planters lots of work ahead. We would also like to erect a bird feeding station and we need to acquire bench seating for the area.In the future we would also like to establish a weather station as the new garden is close to the geography rooms and it would be an ideal spot for an outdoor classroom.I will post photos of the new garden next week so you can see for yourselves the task ahead.

You can help!

  • If anyone would like to donate a bench in memory of someone this area will be a lovely place to do this.
  • We would also welcome donations of grasses(maybe you have some spare in your garden).

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Autumn is here
Autumn is here Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.- Stanley Horowitz

Its been a long time since the last blog entry but that does not mean we haven't been busy. The garden thrived and grew during one of the wettest summers on record , and when we returned to school in September the garden was looking lush. We were very successful with our broad beans this summer and the one plant yielded at least 3pounds of the sweetest tasting beans.We are in the process of cutting every thing back for the winter, the hanging baskets are coming to an end and the vegetables have all been harvested except for the odd Kohl Rabi.

What next?

Well absolutely fantastic news we have received a wonderful donation of £1000 pounds from Mrs Joyce Turner


The thousand pounds will be spent most wisely and we will now be able to buy furniture for the library light well and think about building some raised beds for our proposed allotment.We had a meeting with the gardening club to announce the news and the children came up with some fantastic ideas as to how we could use the money one main idea which was very popular included a water feature, anyway we will think long and hard as to how best spend the money and what will benefit the school most.A thousand pounds will go along way as Mrs Tansey and I are very frugal shoppers and are regulars at Aldi and Lidl.
At the moment we are busy planting winter flowers and taking cuttings off geraniums.
This Friday we planted a lot of Hyacinth bulbs for the spring and stored them away to do what bulbs do over the winter


We are thinking of having an evening get together which will include mince pies and hot mulled wine and hopefully a Christmas wreath making demonstration we will announce this as soon as we have finalised plans.

Exciting plans

A close friend of mine lives and works in Lesotho in South Africa , he works in a small community and he is involved in a project that supports communities in sub-Saharan Africa facing the devastation of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.. identifying and supporting sustainable, community led projects that address health, education, food security and promote economic self-reliance.

One of the projects is called "Gardens of Hope"

The Gardens of Hope project is designed to link five communities in Lesotho, southern Africa, into a network of projects that share ideas, skills, resources and common purpose while supporting the educational needs of orphaned and vulnerable children.We are in touch with Gary and thought it would be wonderful if we could forge a link with one of these projects enabling our young gardeners to get to know some children from a very different part of the world but maybe to find some common ground and interests, and to find out what gardening means to these children . This plan is in the early stages but we will update when we have made some connections.

Gary and some of the Children in Lesotho

Thursday, 12 July 2007

This is summer!!

John Updike
Well the garden has survived the winds and the rain even if the picnic benches have been deserted for the past “is it THREE weeks. This week we picked our first Courgettes and very tasty they were too. Everything else is growing at an alarming rate especially our sunflowers and broad beans. We must say hello to our young gardener Izzy who had undergone an operation and is recovering in hospital we wish you well and we miss you and don’t worry we are taking care of things for you. Here is a little photo of you eating strawberries in the SUN (taken a few weeks ago)

The following photos were taken today ,as you can see everything is blooming. We are very excited as we have found the ideal place to start our allotment we just have to get the approval of our head Mr Fitzgerald .
We have great plans for our allotment and hope it is as successful as
the garden has been. Last week Mrs Tansey and I went to visit Heaton Park County Primary school's gardening club and were very impressed with their efforts and look forward to seeing it again soon.
The school year is nearly over and we are going to miss the garden but we have organised a rota so that it will be well looked after until our return in September.
Returning to school will be very exciting this year as we should see big changes
  • Our sunflowers will be ready to be judged.
  • Kohlrabi should be ready to harvest
  • leeks and butternut squash should be ready
  • Tomatoes should have ripened

and hopefully we will be enjoying an Indian Summer and planning phase two of the gardening club.

We will be hosting a get together in September and maybe a cheese and wine evening with a quiz thrown in to discuss plans for the future with our friends.

I must add this note we started the year with six tiny strawberry plants , "they came forth and multiplied" and thanks to Mrs Tansey we have cultivated an addition twelve plants and must have had at least three absolutely delicious punnets of strawberries already and they are still going strong.

Thanks to all have a good and safe summer


Friday, 8 June 2007

They may be small but they are carrots!!!

If we had known at how fulfilling and successful this project was going to be we would have done it sooner.The gardening club is going from strength to strength I cant begin to describe how lush the garden is but hopefully these photos will give you a glimpse. And yes we do have carrots they maybe small and very curiously shaped but they taste divine. The strawberries WOW absolutely luscious even our head Mr Fitzgerald had to come in for the tasting , he approved and he has a really sweet tooth. We cant keep up with the growing frenzy the kohlrabi and beetroot grow at an amazing rate., the beans are the envy of "Jack and the beanstalk", sweet peas, leeks, courgettes, peppers to name a few all thriving and promise to yield fine fruit.
We truly have big plans for the future but i will leave that to a later date. Thanks to everyone keep up the good work Fee

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Wine and cheese evening success

A good time had by all!!

The evening was a great success as the photos illustrate. Thanks to all involved we raised a whopping £140 for gardening club. Thanks to all involved, staff who made donations to the raffle and those who helped out on the evening, and special thanks to " Bowlee garden centre" and Mike who came along with flowers for sale, hanging basket demo and kind donation of the two hanging baskets he made on the evening.

The garden felt and looked wonderful full of people who were having a relaxing time in this little oasis.

I think we can safetly say the "gardening club" is well and truly launched, and we have a wonderful nucleus of supporters behind us.
we have wonderful plans for the future and hope to see this venture grow as well as the plants in the garden at the moment.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

After thought
Just spoke to my brother in the Highlands and said how the garden had brought people together reminded me of the movie "field of dreams" and the famous line "If you build it they will come!"

Photos as Promised

As you can see it is a hive of activity, Thankyou so much to Mr Barker and Mr Toland for their DIY expertise,. A beautiful day in the garden lots of visitors and Michelle held her year11 revision class outside today, still lotsto do but it now really does feel like a garden.