Little Green Fingers……….Gospel Oak school’s gardening club


Week 31: Carrot Gloom
May 6, 2009, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Planting
Where are they?

Where are they?

We have been keeping an eye on that carrot bed. While everything else in the garden got going – there was no real sign of life in bed number 1 – apart from plenty of weeds. We decided to see what was what and gave it a careful weed. That revealed a grand total of 3 carrots! It was clear action was needed so we replanted the bed to try and see if was the location (it is slightly shadier than the other beds) or the seeds. Fingers crossed this time.

Elsewhere, watering was the order of the day – runner beans, cucumbers, lettuce and herb pots all doing well in the greenhouse but very thirsty – as were the outdoor beds because of the lack of rain. With our water butts squeezed of their last drops – we had to default to tap water today.

Then that was pretty much it as I was on my own this week. Everyone else had other commitments but it really does show how invaluable all the volunteers are to the club. For anyone thinking of starting their own gardening club, I would say that getting other people on board is one of the most important things to do at the start as our club really couldn’t run without the help of the parents and volunteers.

 A proper drenching

A proper drenching



Week 30: Plenty to do
April 24, 2009, 3:42 pm
Filed under: Composting, Planting
Plenty for everyone to do

Plenty for everyone to do

It is always the case – weeks of not much to do over winter then all of a sudden – too much!

A gorgeous day and a real delight to be outside. First and urgent job today was watering. The greenhouse is like a sauna at the moment so everything in there needs doing regularly but the outside beds needed a lot today too.

We have onions, broad beans, peas, tomatoes, potatoes, runner beans, cucumbers and lettuces all doing really well at the moment. Our carrots have been a bit of a non starter this year for some reason so we may have to re-think where they are.

Anyway, onto today. Imogen and her group cleared a bed for our Chard – Bright Lights, inspired by the beautiful ones growing on the Observer allotment. Amanda’s group took charge of the pumpkins – two different varieties: Hundredweight and Atlantic Giant and my group got the courgettes in – F1 Defender.

The weeds seemed to have shot up over the Easter holidays too so plenty of work there. Our wormeries needed a clean out too so member from Eco committee took all the lovely compost out which we used in the beds we planted today.

Eco committee cleaning out the wormeries

Eco committee cleaning out the wormeries



Week 28: Radish, Lettuce, Peppers and Onions
March 27, 2009, 5:55 pm
Filed under: Planting
Allan with the lettuce group - did you read the packet?!

Allan with the lettuce group - did you read the packet?!

The rain stayed away today despite my worry that we could have to cancel and we were really pleased to have Allan come and visit from the Observer.

A quick check on how everything was doing (peas planted straight out 3 weeks ago doing really well – the broom handle certainly did the job of getting them planted in straight lines!) before getting going with the jobs for today.

Ann took charge of the peppers, we decided to try a colourful selection – Razmatazz. They went on the window sill with the others and the tomatoes.

Allan headed up the lettuce group who planted two varieties and they went into the greenhouse.

Then my group took charge of the radish and salad onions – straight out into the salad bed to join the beetroot.

With everything watered, the hour was up. One more week before the Easter holidays means that next week will be a planting frenzy. All hands needed on deck!

Finishing the salad bed

Finishing the salad bed



Week 27: More visitors!
March 20, 2009, 2:51 pm
Filed under: Visitors | Tags:
Primrose Hill gardening club

Primrose Hill gardening club

We gave a warm welcome to the children and adults from Primrose Hill School’s gardening club today. They had been following the blog and as a new club (3 weeks in!) they wanted to come and visit and see what we get up to.

Their set up is the same as ours, one children from each class y1 – 6 so the Gospel Oak children showed the children in the same year group round – pointing out what we were growing, our greenhouse and our shed.

Then everyone got stuck in with the jobs for today. Amanda’s group got the spades out and started to dig out our leaf mould bins – two of the raised beds benefited from a good dose of rotted leaves!

Imogen took the children for some planting – beetroot outside and runner beans in the greenhouse. We have decided to have a salad bed this year so the beetroot has gone in there.

My group took charge of the other jobs. Weeding the fruit bush beds, watering the raised beds as there has been no rain this week and replanting some tomatoes that didn’t germinate.

Our guests stayed for lunch before heading back to school. We want to thanks them for their help today and we are looking forward to visiting them at their club soon.

Planting the beetroot

Planting the beetroot



March 18, 2009, 1:07 pm
Filed under: Volunteers

 

Imogen, another expert volunteer!

Imogen, another expert volunteer!

I really can’t stress enough how important our volunteers are for Gardening club. Without them we wouldn’t be able to do all the things we currently do so again, I want to say a huge thank you to them. Here Imogen Sharp, mum of two children at Gospel Oak primary school – and a keen gardener, tells us all about herself. 

I’ve had a small garden in London for many years and enjoy working in it as well as relaxing.  Plants are an amazing and beautiful part of nature. At this time of year, seeing new shoots pushing up through the soil and buds sprouting on twigs is especially magical.  I’m also interested in the design of gardens and open spaces, which are like outside rooms. They provide happiness and relaxation, as well as food to eat – and can be peaceful but often sociable too.  I love grasses and bamboos, which add movement and lovely sounds to a garden, like water.

 “I am studying for a qualification in garden and planting design, at Capel Manor College, learning about how plants, like animals, thrive best in the right conditions – sunny, shady, wet or dry, for example.  Plants often don’t survive if they’re put in the wrong spot – it’s always tempting to buy a plant that looks nice, without considering the motto ‘right plant in the right place’.  I’ve learnt about how plants go best together, to create visual interest with harmony and contrast, like the architecture of buildings and towns.

 “I also love cooking, and using the herbs in my garden. This year, I’ll also be growing some vegetables with my children – we’ve already dug some space for them. Gardening – even herbs or a bean in a window sill pot – is a fantastic way for children to learn about the environment and the biology of how things develop, as well as growing food to cook and eat. They also develop their skills in nurturing and looking after things – and patience, of course!  The Gardening Club is a great opportunity for the children at Gospel Oak school.  It is a privilege to help at it.”



Week 26: Busy Busy!
March 16, 2009, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Planting
With Arthur from Acorn House

With Arthur from Acorn House

We welcomed two visitors to gardening club today. Arthur Potts Dawson, executive chef at Acorn House Restaurant in Kings Cross http://www.acornhouserestaurant.com/home/index.html and Monica Gomes from Camden Education Business Partnerships.  We took a group of children to visit Arthur earlier on in the year and we were really impressed by his garden and invited him to come and see ours!

After a quick tour, it was down to work and there was loads to do! Vince and Amanda took charge of planting our potatoes that had been chitting for the last few weeks. 15 buckets filled should mean there is plenty for everyone!

Ann got busy with some children to get our cucumbers planted. With the weather warming up, now is an ideal time to get them into the greenhouse.

Speaking of which, Fateha and Carriann got their cleaning heads on and gave the greenhouse a good old tidy out. We will need every available cm in the next few weeks!

Our free Morrisons compost arrived (from the voucher scheme) and Arthur helped the children unpack all the bags and recycle the cardboard packaging.

Phew! Just enough time to give Arthur some potatoes to grow in his own garden and a promise to visit him soon.

A very busy and productive hour!

Everyone busy!

Everyone busy!



Week 25: Pats on the back all round!
March 9, 2009, 6:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
With Roxanne Stirling

With Roxanne Stirling

Friday and another visitor. This time it was Roxanne Stirling from The London Children’s Flower Society. http://lcfs.olaves.net/ 

She had arrived to judge the spring bulb growing competition. Our hyacinths and daffodils that we planted before christmas were flowering beautifully – perfect timing!

The children gave Roxanne a tour of the garden and she seemed genuinely impressed with the children’s knowledge and gardening skills.

Then, it was time for a careful scrutiny of our efforts. She admired the daffodils – showing us how some of them had three flowers growing from one stem. The hyacinths were looking (and smelling) pretty good too.

Then………we were given GOLD! We were all very pleased and the children were able to take their flowers home.

Our Gold award

Our Gold award