Tuesday, 22 October 2013


Growing new plants from cuttings is a great activity during the autumn and winter when there may not be a lot else to do in the garden. It helps if you have a good supply of "parent" plants as we have in the greenhouse at St Johns.

Plants such as spider plants and Aloe Vera are good candidates as are herbs such as Rosemary. There is plenty of advice about how to do this online and we have had really good results, particularly with house plants like spider plants. Children can take plants home and look after them there or keep them in school but, either way, there is potential for them to have their own plant which many really value.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Watch out, they're behind you

We planted sunflowers at St Chrysostom's in the spring. See the post from 14 May about the difficult start these flowers had. When we came back, we found this...

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Harvest time

It's been along cold spring so things are a bit late and I was getting worried that we might go into summer holidays before we were able to harvest things. Fortunately the Armitage garden has perked up with the recent sunshine for a nice crop of strawberries, herbs, broad beans, peas and radishes. Interestingly the club members are crazy for fennel and broad beans (not together).

We've been cooking the broad beans in the staff room microwave, toss in a bit of butter and herbs and they've really enjoyed them. One of the group told me she is now asking her mom to buy broad beans and they're eating them at home for the first time.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Spring is here!

Half an hour after we planted our sunflowers at St Chrysostom's on the 13th May!

Making your own bed

I've been helping a couple of schools to develop new raised beds for the spring. Children have surveyed school grounds, designed the beds and then done most of the construction. It works out much cheaper than buying beds and gets them doing some applied maths.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Willow stars

When it's too wet to go outside, there's lots you can do in Gardening Club. We tried using some stems cut from the willow walk at Armitage to make willow stars. It's not the easiest thing to do but it felt good when we eventually succeeded!

Monday, 14 January 2013

New year new seeds

The longest day is behind us and the evenings are just starting to get a little bit lighter (honest) and there's nothing like the smell of new (peat free) compost and the rustle of fresh seed packets on a January day.

Children at St Chrysostoms are getting in the swing with contrasting planting. Cress that will be ready in a week and sweet peas that might not flower until June.

Pretty soon though we can start to get a few more things going as February has lots more potential for things like tomatoes, chillies and potato chitting.