Sunday, 26 October 2008

School Gardens reborn!

The garden areas at school have been completed as much as can be at the moment.... and as we had no budget to pay for it we have done really well. The head had given me a letter for £50 worth of supplies from Wickes and we used it to purchase gravel, weed suppressant and wood for border edging. Personally Mr P and I have spent approximately £80-£100, which with any luck we might get back from the school or the PTA but if we don't I am sure it won't kill us to donate it to the school, we are by no means rolling in cash but at the end of the day its only money!

Daniel managed to survive the last 2 days with out his customary afternoon naps needless to say he is shattered, but after a quick snack of pringles he had enough energy to go puddle hunting and soak himself up to his knees!

Jamie was a real saviour and spent most of her time being Daniels shadow and steering him clear of most situations.... which is a lot to ask of a 10 year old when all her friends are racing around being children,
thank you Jamie... x!

Lily's Garden
Lily was a little girl that attended the school about 8 years ago, as I understand it she was waiting for a heart transplant and use to wear a back pack with oxygen to help her to breath. She passed away in 2000. The garden was planted in her memory but unfortunately it had become a little forgotten and needed a bit of tender loving care to remove bind weed and buttercups that were taking over the borders.

I have been collecting plants for weeks, but it isn't really the right time of year for lots of colour so I have planted mostly ever green shrubs. The soil is very cleggy as it is mostly clay.
The wall was given a coat of paint to brighten it up a little and I bought an evergreen honeysuckle and a pretty pink clematis to go on the trellis that we painted green. We rearranged the slabs and took out the planting that was in the middle of the patio as it is used by the children and the gaps tended to get trodden all over. The flower beds will be added to as the seasons change and they are filled with bulbs waiting to emerge in early spring.

Mr P went to Wickes Friday and again today (Sunday) and picked up 49 bags of pea shingle to be used on lily's garden and around the pond area.
He is a little worn out now, apparently he loaded up the trolley so high that he resembled Scrat from Ice Age trying to drag it down to the till, eventually a couple of hernias later he returned and the new gravel has really brightened everything up.

The little class room is used for music tuition, but we are hoping to be allowed to decorate it as Santa's grotto this Christmas and let the children visit Santa on their last day of term.

It has definitely been a long weekend but the parents who did turn out yesterday and today (especially today in the rain) were fantastic and I am so grateful for their generosity and for giving up a weekend for a school project.

The Pond
The pond area was a little over grown and I had an idea that it would be nice to have a slabbed border around the pond so that the children could investigate it safely when researching pond life and surrounding habitat. The liner leaked so needed replacing and the pond was wonky so it never filled properly before it leaked out over one side....I must admit I have never owned or taken care of a pond so therefore had no idea where to start so I was relieved when 2 dads took this area as their project, with the assistance of 3 mums they worked tirelessly from 10am till 4pm.

The end result was so fabulous that I almost cried. It was completely renewed using donated pond liner, donated slabs and gravel donated by Wickes Building Supplies. It is so satisfying to know that you have accomplished something so wonderful by reusing stuff that was no longer required, those people could so easily have thrown those items into land fill and instead we have renewed a valuable learning environment for our children.

It is wonderful, we still have to sort out the wooden safety frame to go over the pond, so that children can't fall in it but the slabbed and gravel area are more than I ever expected and I am so grateful to every ones hard work.

The surrounding is ready for marginal planting and I will be mooching around the local garden center this week to see what evergreen shrubs I can find to plant there. It would be nice to plant something with a berry that the birds like as it won't be accessible to the children on that side of the pond and they won't run the risk of eating the berries which always seems to be a concern for school health and safety policies.

There is a very healthy population of newts and frogs and hopefully they will appreciate their new habitat.

The fence panels could have done with a lick of paint but I will see if I can reach them without falling in the pond!

The area in the foreground to the right is very clay soil so I think half a dozen bags of mushroom compost will be thrown into it and some wood chippings and hopefully by the spring the worms will have done some soil maintenance and we can plant some raspberries or something similar.

This wasn't organised as a PTA event as Secretary I didn't even put it past the PTA as there are so few of us and it gets demoralising to keep asking the same few to do all the work...... as it turned out it was the chair (Mr P), secretary (me), 5 PTA committee members and 1 parent that turned out so it would appear that it will always be the same old faces that knuckle down and get dirty.

I am tired, dirty and can't wait to have a soak in the bath, Mr P and Jamie have taken Smudge the dog out for a walk as he has been a really good boy all weekend being left pretty much on his own.

I think we will all sleep well tonight.....

x Alex


April said...

Wow Alex, I am so impressed, you have done an amazing job! Pats on the back all round - if it was my school i would tkae you out for a large drink!!!

April xx

Pink Feather Paradise said...

Thank you, I am really pleased with it....I think everyone at school thinks I am nuts.....they could be right!

karen said...

wow what a fab job you've done well done you.