Homes for nature

It had been snowing again in Northampton this morning, but the gardeners on Ecton Brook were not deterred. We headed out in our wellies and warm coats to make some little homes for the local wildlife. I am so proud of the gardeners for their work this evening. They all worked so well as a team and their effort and behaviour were outstanding. Well done everyone!

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If you go down to the woods today…

This week, on the Bellinge Campus, we were lucky to be joined by Mrs Hardy and Miss Cooper. Miss Cooper took half of the gardeners off to do the RSPB’s Big School Birdwatch. They braved the cold and spotted several different birds, including black headed gulls and crows. Mrs Hardy and I took the other half of the gardeners into the woods for some bug hunting and a spot of tree climbing. We mainly found slugs and worms, but there were also woodlice and a centipede.

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Christmas Lanterns

Sorry this post has been a long time coming, but better late than never! Our last Gardening Club session of the year had to involve a little bit of a party. We all made lanterns out of glass jars, sequins, tissue paper and lots of glitter. Despite the very windy evening, we managed to get the lanterns to light and then headed down to the woods where we all enjoyed some hot chocolate and cakes. Well done everyone, you worked really hard this term and I look forward to seeing lots of you again next year.

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Bird boxes

This week, on the Ecton Brook campus, it was a bit cold to garden outside so we stayed indoors to make some bird boxes. They were flat packed and there were enough for one each, so we attempted to put them together with wood glue. It wasn’t as easy as it looked! However, everyone persevered and we made a good start. The boxes have been carefully left to dry and we will get them finished next week.

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Leaf pressing

On the Ecton Brook campus, we headed outside to collect some leaves from different winter plants so we can press them. We mainly chose holly and ivy so we can hopefully make some pretty Christmas bookmarks in a couple of weeks. We also had a look at a wild, fenced-off section of the field where we hope to plant some wild flowers next year.

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Picnic for the birds

This week on the Ecton Brook campus we were helping the birds, as well as planting some pretty winter flowers. We started by adding some violas and cyclamen to the planters, so they have a bit of colour while we wait for the bulbs to (hopefully) appear. Then we made simple treats for the birds using pieces of toast! We spread the toast with a thick layer of vegetable fat, then pressed in lots of bird seed. We made a hole in the top of the toast with a pencil, tied on a piece of wool and hung them in the bushes and trees around the school. Hopefully they will provide a tasty meal for the birds now that the weather is getting colder.

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Painting the blues away

We had planned to go out and start planting some seeds this evening, however as we all froze on the playground at lunchtime, we decided to do an indoor activity instead. We had some slate pieces which we decided to paint with garden pictures so we can use them to decorate our garden once they have been varnished. Come rain or shine we will be planting seeds next week, before it’s too late!

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Fruit for the future

We were all very excited this evening as we had some fruit bushes to plant out. Billing Garden Village (http://www.billinggardenvillage.co.uk/) kindly gave us a great discount on four plants and some special ‘frost fleece’ to protect them. The Gardening Club team spent this evening digging and planting out the little trees. It was tricky to dig the holes deep enough and we all got very muddy, but we worked together and soon the plants were safely in the ground.

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Here are the plants with their cosy frost blankets. Fingers crossed they will produce lots of tasty berries for us to eat in the autumn.

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Beginning our Gardening Journal

It was another rainy Gardening Club session on Bellinge Campus today, so we decided to use the opportunity to start putting our journal together. The first thing our journal needs is a front cover. We are having to little competition to see who can design the best front cover, with a prize for the winner and runner up. I’m sure you’ll agree the designs are looking awesome so far!

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Even Miss Cooper wants to enter the competition 🙂

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Garden in a jar

It was POURING with rain today, so we retreated inside and made tiny gardens inside old coffee jars. Thank you very much to all the people who saved their old jars for us! We placed some basic compost in the bottom of the jars and made a little hole with a teaspoon for the plant. Next, we placed a tiny cutting of a succulent (a money plant) into the hole. To decorate, we added a dinosaur model and some ‘rocks’ from the garden.

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