Friday, 24 April 2009

From winter to summer in two short weeks

Having spent the last Friday evening before our Spring Break huddled round the fire in multiple layers of assorted clothing, following a return to sub-zero temperatures, imagine my surprise on our return a mere two weeks later.  Erstwhile bare trees…..

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are now cloth├Ęd all in green (ho ho).  The mauvaises herbes are all poussing like mad. 

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And the school garden is virtually unrecognisable.

Tulips…..

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and narcissi…..

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are nodding their pretty heads.  The allium gigantium…..

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looks fit to bust and Chloe’s sparkly tee shirt…..

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is glinting in the sunlight.

Those radish seeds we planted?  Almost ready to be munched upon.

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The garlic?  Heading skywards.

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The well-watered herbs obviously relished their pre-vacation soaking…..

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and the transplanted (by another class) chard…..

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and cabbage seedlings are glistening and shiny with health.

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But we had work to do.  Trenches to be dug and marked out in preparation for the planting of flower seeds.

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And a challenge.  In the form of a handful of bamboo canes…..

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and the biggest ball of string I have ever seen…..

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which need to be turned into ‘tepees’ for runner beans to spiral up.

What to do?  A team effort is definitely required.  Someone to hold the canes steady…..

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while lots of hands work with the string…..

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winding it round and around…..

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and around!

And just look here.  OUR runner beans, that we planted in the classroom in September, and which survived both the winter and spring breaks; temperatures which were too hot and too cold; being given too much as well as too little water…..somehow, against all the odds, had a sudden spurt of life and have now been transplanted outside and teased up one of the cane tepees.

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One final thought, though.  I hope we have spiralled the beans in the right direction…..

Friday, 3 April 2009

Trouble in the vegetable rack…..

Thursday evening; hunting in the dark recesses of the vegetable rack for a clove or two of garlic, to perk up the dinner.  What did I find?  Green shoots.

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I suspect that the dark had confused the garlic into thinking that it was underground and needing to ‘pousse’ or sprout.  Which, although it meant that I had to be a bit more creative with my flavourings than planned that evening, gave me ‘food for thought’ for the next day’s gardening tasks.  Perhaps it would continue to shoot, send down roots and fatten up in time for some later dinner if we were to plant it.

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So, let’s poke some of the sprouted cloves into our newly-prepared seed beds…..

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and water them well!

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And while we are at it, we had better make use of our prepared (raked and carefully measured) beds and a sunny afternoon, and get some seeds planted too.  Radishes, carrots and onions.

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Some seeds are tiny so they need to be sprinkled onto the soil from a cupped palm.

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And then watered.  Well.

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Other seeds are big enough to be poked into the soil one-by-one.

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And then watered.  Well.

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And while we have got the watering cans out…..

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I guess it wouldn’t hurt to give the rest of the garden a bit of water.

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After all, there hasn’t been much rain lately.

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