Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Gardening – at school

Starting up a Gardening Club at school seemed like a good idea at the time. Plant a few vegetables, let the children see how they grow… there was a large waste area tucked away in a corner which was begging to be planted up.

We started last year, with pumpkins, lettuce, a tomato plant or two, some potatoes we planted in a bucket.

All grew well, with the help of lots of sun and rain, half a dozen eager little boys, and half an hour of my – and their – time once a week.

This year, we have a huge, ploughed up, plot.

Some seeds. The help of two enthusiastic parents. The same number of children. The same amount of my time.

We haven't done too badly so far. We've planted broad beans and peas. Some of the peas and beans have germinated and are growing well. Some have been washed out of the soil by our recent heavy rain – we replanted them today. And some, I fear, have been scoffed by the birds.

We have a banana tree, a couple of beds of annuals, and a patch of geraniums and gazanias. Morning glories and blackeyed Susans starting to climb the fence. Two varieties of potato, each in a bucket of compost. Marrow and pumpkin seedlings.

And still only half an hour of my time, once a week.

I have plans. I have some money to spend to get the garden going well. But I also have a full teaching timetable. And a bucket full of panic over an empty garden.

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