Dull and wet weather but still planting to be done….

Monday September 26th 2016

Up to school by 8am ready to start planting the large perennial plants and shrubs kindly donated by friends of mine …

Alas the weather was damp and miserable nevertheless planting had to be done so after signing in at the office off next to the wildlife area to collect a spade…

Managed to get most of the plants planted even though the ground was hard and very dry-most of the plants ie fuschias,Japanese anemones and  dianthus Russian Skies are in the perennial bed by the kitchen whilst another lovely hebe was planted in the bed just inside the car park.

Working in the rain + watering in the new planting resulted in me getting some very strange looks from parents and children as they arrived for school start at 8.50am!

Ran out of space plus was somewhat wet and bedraggled so took the remaining plants for safe keeping into the wildlife area ie just a few more perennial anemones and a few unidentified seedlings which I hope to plant on Thursday weather permitting-although rain is forecast….

I planted a hellebore in the wildlife area to the left of the gate by the pond

Finally decided it was too wet to re fill the bird feeders so left for home around 9.30am


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Feeding birds, weeding ,planting ,taking cuttings, harvested plums ,first quince fruit etc

Thursday September 22nd 2016

At school by 8.15am went straight to wildlife area and began work by refilling all the bird feeders around our main project site

Next job was removing all those large pieces of shrub  branches someone cut and left  on the slope near the steps by the boiler house -took them down to the copse by our wildlife pond-Rose arrived around 9am in time to help with this task -she also potted on 2 pots of two different shrub cuttings,

After an early well deserved coffee break we did more annual autumnal clearing ie shearing ,raking and composting  work down near the outdoor classroom seating

Final main job was out at the front of school-weeding and more pruning plus Rose planted two lots of Japanese anemonies -she’d brought from home- on the perennial bed in the car park.

NB at last we have our first fruit on the quince tree we planted about 10 years ago by the top path in the wildlife area- just one small fruit!

Staff brought the nursery class down to explore the wildlife area whilst we were having our coffee break.

All the plums on the 2 trees growing on the bank by the playground have been harvested and enjoyed by the children at nursery and breakfast club




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Watering ,feeding birds, planting shrub cuttings, propping up apple trees, pruning ash tree etc

Monday September 19th 2016

Whilst waiting for Colin to arrive I watered the pots and planters at the front of school…..

Colin arrived at  8.40 am so off we went to the wildlife area where our first job was as usual refilling all the bird feeders- on the way around we saw that the bramley apple tree prop had moved and the tree was leaning over the pathway!

So after refilling the bird food box we attempted to sort out the leaning tree this time with 2 props plus a can of water however the roots may have been damaged so fingers crossed that the tree survives….

 Our next job was some heavy pruning of a few  low ash tree branches which were damaging a nearby fruit tree.

We also decided to plant the flowering currant and fuschia cuttings -taken from the area behind the nursery about 3 months ago ie where the classroom extensions are being built -Colin has planted these cuttings in 4 lots behind our wildlife pond-earth extremely dry so cuttings well watered in and I will water them  again on Thursday.

As we were leaving the wildlife area we saw that several large pieces had been cut from a shrub by the steps and had been left  overhanging the playground so we pulled them out and have left them by our shed to  deal with on Thursday!!!

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Feeding birds, propping up apple trees and weeding/tidying around wildlife pond….

Thursday September 15th 2016

Just me  working in our school wildlife area this morning as Rose had a hospital appointment…

I began by filling the various bird feeders in and around our project site ie the wildlife area-still having a battle with pesky grey squirrels who keep chewing holes in the wire peanut feeders!

After sorting the birdfood box ready for next week’s work sessions I went down to do some weeding and tidying around  our wildlife pond-have done 50% of the annual removal of garden waste -after the job is completed we need to get in the pond asap to remove about 2 thirds of the flag iris plus sieve off most of the tiny duckweed  again!

NB have reported at school office that there are several areas of the pond boardwalk are damaged + need repairing

We have a bumper crop – for the first time – of small dark skinned plums on the 2 trees on the grassy bank area by the playground – we planted these trees 6-8 years ago with help from some of  the school children

Have also propped up 2 of our small apples trees in the wildlife area using  recycled forked branches….



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Feeding birds,refilling water butts ,watering and weeding….

Monday September 12th 2016

Grey and humid morning weatherwise…

I watered the planters and pots at the front of school + did some pruning whilst waiting for Colin to arrive…

Colin began his work by refilling the water buts near our shed whilst I started refilling the nearby bird feeders

After we’d finished filling the last of the bird feeders and sorting the bird food box we did weeding again -this time just below the far steps-alas the 3 hollies we’d transplanted from where the new classrooms are being built have all died -probably due to lack of rain this summer and our insufficient watering?

After our coffee break we packed up and left for home an hour earlier than usual…

NB The most prolific flowers in the school wildlife area this week are cyclamen mostly growing under trees in the far copse….

Mr Ball brought some nursery class children down to explore the school wildlife area early this morning

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Watering + feeding birds, repairing small mammal/insect shelter, weeding,fungi etc

Monday September 8th 2016

Thankfully after yesterday’s damp and extremely cloudy weather today we’ve had glorious hot sunshine….

I arrived at school at 8am and began by watering the planters and pots at the front of school….

Off next to the wildlife area where I refilled all the bird feeders around our main project site ie the school wildlife area…

Just as I’d finished sorting the bird food ready for next week’s work sessions Rose arrived to help -I had earlier discovered one of our small mammal/insect shelter made from recycled pallets stuffed with twigs etc had almost been smashed to pieces?

Fortunately we have spare pallets so Rose and I spent a while sorting out the debris adding some broken wood to a nearby woodpile + we also took a wheelbarrow load of wood with nails in to the rubbish skip at the front of school

We secured 2 new pallets to the base of the  mammal shelter adding lots of bricks and broken paving slabs to make our repaired structure more secure re health and safety!

Time then for a well deserved coffee break -as we were finishing our refreshments at 11.20am Mike (school parent and ex volunteer) arrived in response to my request for help -he kindly jumped up and down on our pallet compost bins in the copse by the wildlife pond so we now have more room for adding more garden waste after future weeding sessions-Mike was rewarded with some delicious plums from the trees by the playground-we planted a selection of fruit  trees with the school children about 6 years ago. Earlier this week Mrs Webber picked some apples with the Nursery children-she has cooked them at home and brought them back today for the children to try….

NB one of the rowan saplings by the steps below our shed looks decidedly unwell -Mike has removed the trunk’s  plastic protector which ants had filled with earth, I then watered the tree so fingers crossed that it will recover…

Before we left for home Rose did some weeding by the steps opposite the buddleias near the shed

Lots of small unidentified fungi growing below the path near the far steps. 

Nursery children and staff came down into the wildlife area early this morning I came across them sitting quietly in the copse by the wildlife pond listening to the story Mr Ball was reading to them.

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Shortened work session due to weather conditions!

Monday September 5th 2016

Just me working in school wildlife area this morning as Colin had to cancel due to a bowls match….

I was at school for 8am -no need to water the pots and planters at the front of school due to recent rain

So off next to the school wildlife area ie our main project site-I began by repairing some of our path edge marker canes then I refilled all our bird feeders with a variety of foods ie fat balls, niger seed, sunflower hearts, suet pellets, mixed seed and peanuts

Decision time re whether or not to stay and do more late summer clearing -after a quick coffee and biscuits in the shed I decided the hot and humid weather plus the wet foliage from recent rain meant it was not suitable gardening conditions so left for home 2 hours earlier than usual at 10am!

NB slippery conditions on the slope by the upper classrooms resulted in me slipping over -thankfully without damage to myself….

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