I’ve been neglecting this blog of late – testament perhaps to how much work we have been doing in the garden!
Since the last update, the garden has expanded into the surrounding flowerbeds, where my class and after-school gardening club have been working hard to create ‘nature trails’ we’ve also planted a number of new plants, and the warmer weather has provided a much needed boost to their growth.
First up, the Coleus, or Flame Nettles. Some fantastic charity work, where most of the plants were sold for charity, with the remaining flowers now on display on our potting table:
Our Giant Elephant Ears were struggling a bit, so I nurtured them back to full strength on my own balcony:
Before bringing them back once it got a bit warmer:
Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, parsley and basil are all flourishing, and the children were delighted to pick these and share them out.
Where the Coleus used to be, the children planted nasturtiums. These grew incredibly quickly! It took around two weeks to go from seed to bloom.
Once these nasturtiums became more established… We started to get caterpillars.
We recorded time lapse videos of them eating, and the children discussed why they thought the caterpillars only ate half a leaf before moving to the next one, coming to the conclusion that the caterpillars were clever and didn’t want the plants to die, so they had more food to eat.
The lavender planted back in October has finally popped up, and the children love squeezing the leaves and smelling them.
The gardening club also planted two Papaya trees, which should reach full size and yield fruit in around eight months.
Now that the beds are full, my class started thinking about ways of expanding the garden. They decided to make paths through the surrounding flowerbeds. With their plans in hand, I used ribbons to lay out the paths they wanted to make, before they were set loose to uproot all the flowers!
This path making revealed the monstera that we planted a few months back. It now has arial roots, and is starting to climb the tree.
This path will make a wonderful nature trail for the smaller children in our school once the surrounding flowers grow taller.
My class found that this new path is too muddy, so we got together and thought about what we could do to solve the problem. Various ideas came up, such as buying big stones, using bricks, covering the ground with grass, etc. In the end, we have decided to make our own stepping stones using concrete. The children will create their own mosaics, using old toys, glass beads etc. As the founding gardeners, this will be an excellent opportunity for them to leave a permanent mark on the school.
Finally, here’s an update to our progress pictures: