Autumn is not a time we think of bright, showy flowers – that’s why I love this Cyclamen. We’ve just planted three into our school garden to give it some welcome colour.
In the local primary school, we have started an after-schools gardening club as part of the school’s biodiversity green-school project.
With over 40 (about a third of the school) children attending it takes a bit of organising, but thankfully other parents have come on board to help out. It is wonderful to see the kids get so enthusiastic about not only gardening, but also making the school more wildlife friendly.
Our first task was to make some bird boxes, which have subsequently gone up in the hedgerow which surrounds the school.
There are a couple of existing flower beds which were weeded and planted with some primulas to brighten them up. Daffodils were already present. The kids have since set seeds of other flowers and these will be planted out in the coming weeks.
There is one quite small raised bed from a previous attempt to grow vegetables. The first part of this has been filled with compost and planted with onions, beetroot, radishes, peas and lettuce. People have been very generous and donated seeds, pots, tools and compost. The kids are keen to grow pumpkins so last week we started of some pumpkin seeds. They have also planted up strawberry plants into a large pot which the kids have to keep watered and hopefully they will be rewarded with some strawberries before the summer holidays come.
We’ve also planted a selection of apple trees. The soil at the site is poor and water-logged but we hope that over the years the trees will produce some apples that the kids will be able to harvest. We’d also like to incorporate some other soft fruit bushes like raspberries and currants. It’s very much a work in progress. But even if we can inspire just a couple of children to become avid gardens I will feel rewarded.