Welcome to Cookridge Primary School's Garden

Keep up to date with all that's going on in our school garden throughout the year!

Thursday, 4 July 2013


This week saw the first crop of strawberries from our garden.

There was a great deal of excitement and I had to intervene to stop every single strawberry being picked, ripe or not!  A few had succumbed to the slugs and snails that lurk in that area, but we had a nice bowl full.  The children excitedly dashed to Mrs Bailey's office to announce their find and she was unwittingly the official taster. She was very impressed!  The children had a taste themselves and despite sharing them with other people in school, had soon polished them off themselves.

Millie, Mia, Ben and Cobie show off our first strawberry crop

Caught you! Ben having a sneaky taste!

Hey, I've counted them, you know!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Wednesday 26th June

Been pond dipping this week. There's not a lot to do in the garden apart from fighting the weeds back and the kids are getting a bit fed up with that.  It's not that cool.

So the kids have discovered waterlice,water boatman, ramshorn snails and a worm like creature that we couldn't really identify.  The kids found it fascinating so its an activity I'll keep doing!

We had our first ripe strawberry this week as well.  It got cut up into about 8 pieces along with more radishes that are ready to harvest!  The strawberry plants are dripping in fruit, we just have to wait for the sun to come out and ripen them.  Hopefully, we'll be having strawberries and cream rather than an eighth of a strawberry!!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Another crazy week

A short blog this week.

We had a drop of welcomed rain in the last week and everything's gone crazy! The runner beans have sprouted, the carrots are getting there, the peas are spreading and Class 7 and Class 9's beds have gone into overdrive!

I took four lads up today, the first time since last Thursday (it's a long story) and feared a jungle and a couple of triffids, but instead we found these!

No, not big Year 5 boys, but RADISHES!

We planted a multicoloured pack in a bed and to our delight, there were several fat plump juicy ones. As you can see, there's white ones, red ones and purple ones.  The boys wanted to try them, so we had a scientific test where we tasted each one to find out if they tasted different as well as looked different. The boys were surprised with the spicy kick radishes have, but thought the white ones were the less spicy and the redder ones the best spicy taste.  They then tried to sell them to Mr Maldonado after he commented on them on passing "mmmm, I love radishes" and was chased back to his classroom! That's my boys!

It was a very hot day with a nice breeze and we did some more sowing in the garden, the inevitable weeding and tidying.  The boys tried to bargain with me to take them out every Wednesday, but I knew they were after only one thing - more radishes.

I'm just chuffed that somethings grown and we've had our first crop! 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Thursday 13th June

No, I haven't been on any trips this last week, but have been incredibly busy with other jobs as well as the garden, that I haven't had chance to blog. I hold my head in shame.

Well, its been a long week of battling the weeds, keeping the greenhouse plants watered and making sure that garden ticks over.  I feel rather guilty as I have been quietly praying for rain (us Brits are never happy with our weather - moan when it's cold and wet, and then when it's hot and sunny, we demand rain!)

I just want an nice overnight downpour to water the beds, then a nice 70 degrees worth of sunshine to encourage our plants to grow.  That would suit me down to the ground.

I had a "bang head against a wall" moment during the week.  Finally I purchased an basic irrigation system for the greenhouse tomato plants, and eventually plucked up the courage to open it and try and set it up. Faced with 71 pieces of colourful plastic bits and metres of tubing, a A4 piece of paper with instructions written in several languages and diagrams so microscopic that the most powerful microscope can't cope, I was doing quite well, when I read at the bottom of this sheet, that I needed a special component to attach the tubing to the hose and it's NOT INCLUDED!!!! Aaargh!
So the whole project had slithered to a halt while I wait for this part. I am not happy.

Today I took five children up who were just exceptionally keen and were running around, asking what was this plant and what was this called?  They were fascinated by the pond and eager to see our ducks, who unfortunately, found our little patch of water not so desirable and have disappeared.  Personally I blame Class 9 for scaring them off three weeks ago.  Anyway we ended up pond dipping for half an hour and discovered water boatmen, waterlouse and snails.  The kids loved it.  The pond has life, not the best, but its a start.  We had a lovely discussion about wildlife, meadows and global warming!! Amazing.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Sunny days are here again!

Yes, I'm back after a fortnight of silence.

Mrs Colefax looked after the seedlings on the last three days while I was on the Comenius project in Birmingham (read the International blog for that) and I diligently checked them during the Whitsun break.  The weather was cloudy and overcast for most of the holiday, so I could leave the watering for a couple of days, but this last week, we have been basking in 18 - 20 degrees (and making the most of it). So I was up every day, watering.

I have finally purchased a watering system and now need to find time to set it up and make sure it works.  It will certainly save me time visiting the garden during the school holidays!

Yesterday was spent knee deep in paperwork, reading the instructions on the watering system and advertising the Cookridge Horticultural Show to the children hoping that they will enter a lot of the classes on offer. Our vegetable basket always seems to do well, and we have entered the handwriting and art classes before, but I want a big push on it this year.  Not that I'm competitive.............

 Today the children and I went up to the garden and did a massive weeding session - unfortuantely weeds grow even better than the plants.  The plants themselves are finally celebrating the arrival of summer and are starting to grow quite briskly, rather than keeping low and stunted.  We seem to have zillions of peas and beans, but I was delighted to spy the first growth spurts of carrots and cabbages.  The garden still look quite bare, but on closer inspection, the veggies are there and pushing their way through.

The after school garden club is back on this afternoon and I have several jobs lined up including potting up some of our beans and selling them tomorrow with another batch of rhubarb.  It's all go here!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Planting out

Planting out the runner beans

Rowan hard at work

Robyn and Caitlin weeding and planting

Stanley, Kyle and Joshua planting peas

Good job there, Kyle!

We are having funny weather at the moment - cloudy and overcast, there's a chill in the morning (I had 4 layers on when I walked the dog at 6am), but during the day, it warms up considerably, though its that sticky humid heat that Britain seems to specialise in. But it's still cloudy, broody and overcast.

Mind you, the plants aren't complaining and seem to be in a rush to catch up. (Weeds included especially dandelions!).  Today, Joshua brought in a big bag of peas and asked if he could plant them in the garden which he did with Stanley and Kyle's help.  Robyn, Caitlin and Rowan planted the tiny bean plants we had grown in the polytunnel around the wigwams.

Later I had Sophie, Charlie, David and Antonio up who moved the flower planters up to the main entrance and planted another couple of big pots.  Hopefully, the front entrance will look pretty good, come high summer.  They then finished off the bean planting and tidied up.  Think we're on a level keel with the garden and I don't feel so frantic.  Think we need to go with the flow as we're in the hands of our unpredictable weather.  As long as I've got a few carrots and a bean to show in the Cookridge Show in September, I will be happy.

The garden blog will go quiet over the next couple of weeks.  Tomorrow I'm off to Birmingham for 5 days for the final Comenius project meeting (read all about it on the International Blog) and then it's Whitsun half term (already???).  Mrs Colefax has very kindly offered to water the greenhouse while I'm away and I'll be making little forays up too to keep everything ticking over.  I really must invest in a water system......

Thursday, 16 May 2013

More pictures

The planters outisde Class 1

The entrance outisde the school

Katie and Libby

Weeding the berry patch

Class One planters

Outside our front door