This was a
new venture for Doxey celebrating all things green and growing in our
area. It did not thrive !
April is the month for setting the scene. Lawns have to be raked, paths cleared, and weeds given the boot. This should give us a fresh palette from which to create new beginnings.
Previous growth is now being cleared, allowing new shoots to flourish. Stalks which once looked statuesque through the stark winter months have finally been cut back. Weeds which made an early claim for fresh soil have been forked out and already gone the way of the town’s recycling route. Even our footpath has seen pioneering shoots scraped mercilessly from their moorings. The garden is taking shape, and the primroses appear brighter for it.
Much consternation has been caused by simply raking the lawn. This is with the aim of reducing moss, which soaks water, diverting it from the soil. Whole mountains of moss have come up, exposing more bare ground than anticipated. The remaining grass now needs a bit of TLC, and simple lawn feed should do the trick. If necessary, some grass seed mixed with sand can be sprinkled over persistent bare patches. It is still early in the season, allowing plenty of time for the lawn to grow in renewed and revitalised.
The greenhouse is watered regularly, and some seedlings have begun to show themselves. It is too soon to be pricking them out, but the cucumber crop does look promising. Also making a noticeable start are the radishes and perpetual spinach. Now we simply await the rocket.
For a while, we’ve been peering at the broad bean patch outside, wondering whether these had been planted prematurely. Our waiting has ended, and my son seems to have planted three rows of beans, as opposed to the two we had been expecting. This is a great improvement from the dandelions that we cleared from this location earlier in the year!
It’s good to have a bit of rain once in a while, especially for our new potato project. Up near the house, where a tree has been removed, we had thought to plant a decorative arrangement. However, since potatoes don’t appreciate the boggy ground at the foot of the garden, we have decided to give them this spot right outside our back door. The spuds we decided to use came from the bottom of a bag of Wilja’s in our kitchen. These had begun chitting, so perhaps they will respond well to a bit of soil. Time will tell whether this is a successful method for growing potatoes.
Speaking of time passing, the Stafford Prince’s Trust Team have worked very hard on providing a sensory garden for Doxey Primary School (see below). This was opened on Friday 24th April, 2009. Gardening is truly a pastime for all generations to enjoy.
Sensory Garden at Doxey School
The Foundation Stage children at Doxey Primary and Nursery School are having lots of fun exploring their new outdoor sensory pathway created by the Prince’s Trust.
The new pathway has created an array of learning opportunities for the children to develop their physical, investigative and creative skills. They love to explore the different textures of the path, find insects and worms in the soil, look after the plants and climb and balance on the logs.
Louise Monaghan (Foundation Stage Manager) stated: “We are very grateful to the Prince’s Trust; they have worked extremely hard to create an excellent learning environment for the children. It has been a pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic and hard working group of young people. Without the support of the Prince’s Trust it would have taken us many more fundraising events to raise the money needed to complete the project.”
The above was emailed from the headmaster
March 2009 - Looking Forward to Spring
As we do the school run, my children have been excitedly pointing out every new crocus and snowdrop. Cries of, ”There’s one!” have turned to “Look mum, even more crocuses!” Our own garden has thrown up a sudden display along the borders. This is the moment of inspiration we’ve been waiting for, as the first leaves begin to unfurl, and colour bursts onto the scene.
Much preparation has been taking place in the greenhouse already. The contents of one compost heap have been forked through the raised beds, and seeds already planted (21st Feb). This year the greenhouse will be providing us with a selection of fresh salad ingredients, including: lettuce, perpetual spinach (leaf beet), rocket, radishes (sparkler 3), and cucumbers (F1 prima top). Once these begin to come up, it is important to ensure each seedling has sufficient space to grow, and to prick some out. (Pricking out is the removal of competing seedlings, allowing the strongest plant to benefit from the soil’s nutrients.) We should have some tasty greens this year!
The house is also doing its bit for the garden. Our back room is west-facing and catches the sun, so it is home to an array of pots. These are filled with the following: chilli peppers (hot stuff), tomatoes (F1 Shirley), tomatoes (golden sunrise), chilli peppers (demon red), and aubergines (mixed). As these were planted in the same weekend that we sorted the greenhouse, the first tomato seedlings have already appeared.
The only seeds braving outdoor soil are our broad beans (bunyards exhibition) and shallots (pikant). These were planted by our youngest, and he checks these most days. We have canes at the ready for when the beans do pop up, and will most likely freeze some for Christmas Day. The onions are destined to make a glorious chutney- more on that nearer the time.
Gardens turn up new surprises every year. The nicest are the sort which can be shared across fences. We only began growing cucumbers when the chap next door gave us a seedling. It did so well, we’re onto our third summer with them! Share a little and your old stand-by can grow to become someone else’s new favourite.
|Amended : 15-11-19||TOP|