Monday, 24 November 2008

Winter Gardening Club

 It's mighty chilly out there but my merry band of green-fingered imps rose to the challenge of coming to today's gardening club. They are all so enthusiastic and it's joy to be with them.

Here's a recap of what we've done this term. We started two-three weeks late and one session was cancelled due to weather and another because of a poorly toddler (mine).

 But we've got lots done, everything, in fact, that I had planned. Oh, ok, maybe not the broad beans but that's because I wasn't entirely sure where to put them. And I must be getting better because I didn't refer to my bible once!

So here's what we did:
  • Sowed sweet peas in loo rolls and when those ran out into coir pots that someone kindly donated. We got through at least two packets which are now all coming up in the grow house. The children were very enthusiastic about this activity.
  • Cleared the beds, weeded and sowed green manure on one and covered another in well rotted horse manure. They weren't so keen on the latter task, I have to say.
  • Sowed garlic, one packet in our "winter veg bed" and one head I bought at a supermarket. We sowed those ones in little pots as a kind of experiment to see which do the best.
  • Sowed shallots in the ground. These are already shooting up. We followed this up another week by planting another two rows, mainly to fill the bed. It also contains a couple of cabbages, leeks and garlic.
  • We planted hyacinth bulbs in individual pots and these are now housed in the cold, dark boiler room. We also planted some paperwhites and other narcissi in pots and green shoots are emerging in the grow house. Gotta love that grow house!
  • We made a new flower bed and planted daffs and lillies in these. Some red and white striped tulips went into a pot.
  • The free Morrison salad seeds were planted in a large pot and they are all coming up. 

Today we concentrated on looking after the wildlife so we went for a short hunt around the school grounds (it's a small school) for logs to pile up on one side of the garden to make a home for any hedgehogs or toads. I'm not sure if any will check into our critter hotel but it was a nice thing to do, a thank you if you like to the wildlife.

I also whizzed into a local diy centre before the session started and bought some peanuts, fat balls and other bird seed which we strung around the trees and fence bordering the garden. The children were delighted by a curious robin who will hopefully be joined by other feathered friends.

Have to say, feel a litttle bit anxious about the new term as I'm not entirely sure what we're going to do. As ever, I'm always open to (cheap) suggestions. I've asked for Alys' book for Christmas so maybe I'll get a few ideas from there. I'm also (really, just thought of this) going to send off for lots of seed catalogues and get them to do some cutting and sticking on the first session to give me an idea of flowers and veggies they may like to plant.........hmmm it's hard to say who enjoys this club more!


  1. What fun - while I was reading this I was wishing I could join too :)

  2. I think you're doing an amazing job there - well done.

  3. Sounds excellent, I'd love to get something like this going with my local lower school.
    How's about incorporating a little bit of photography or art with the vegetable growing - get the kids to take close-up pictures of their favourite shapes or colours in the vegetable garden.

    Or how about making up some winter hardy salad boxes?

  4. Great job keeping this going in the winter--I'm inspired. Have you considered bark rubbings? Or making a terrarium ( Or collecting evergreens for Christmas decorations? These are all things I do with my kids in the winter.

  5. Have a look at's 10 Jobs for February? Or Dominic Murphy's Playground Potting Shed is a good source of ideas.

    I seem to remember putting potatoes to chit. But that doesn't take long, and how much space have you got to grow potatoes? If you have room then they're a big hit with kids, but go for earlies to fit in with the school year.