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St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Primary School Love One Another

Awards

Gardening Club

Wow! We never stopped tonight. Wednesday 23rd April 2024 saw the Flower Pot Gang get busy with planting the potatoes and strawberries, filling up the beds with soil and litter picking around the garden area. Mrs Miskell asked us if we would re-pot her spider plant, as it was needing some TLC. Oscar did a great job of doing this. The garden is appearing to come to life. We can't wait to see what offerings it brings us this year. ***There is no Gardening Club next week (1st May 2024) Mrs Taylor & Mrs Cumming are planning for the next half-term***

Over the Half-Term holiday, Mrs Taylor & Mrs Cumming came in to have a general tidy around the garden. It is looking beautiful, at the moment. The spring flowers are blooming and the crops are starting to grow. For the Flower Pot Gang to gain their Level 4 RHS certificate, we need to hold a plant/flower/vegetable sale. So on 17th April 2024, we got busy potting up, ready to sell. A date for the sale will be will follow shortly.

All hands were on deck on 13th March 2024. We finished planting the daffodil bulbs, ready to sell before we break up for the Easter Holidays. We planted coriander, parsley, carrots, peas, beets and sprout seeds and gave them a good watering. Our pepper seeds haven't sprouted yet, but our spinach is doing really well.

6th March 2024 saw us go back onto the Fenny to meet with members of our community, to help Jean from the Allotment Society plant more trees. We were on a roll! The amount of trees we got into the ground was amazing, thanks to the production line we got going. We even found a bombardier beetle, which Riley identified by looking in Oliver's garden book. The trees that we are planting will create habitats and restore biodiversity. We are all working together to tackle the climate crisis, and it's only with everyone doing a little bit to support that, we CAN make a difference. The new trees will create new habitats for wildlife including the red squirrel, song thrush and red kite. It will also help to reconnect people with nature, when they take a stroll on the playing fields, through this shared vision. Earth is not just an abstract concept; it's the heartbeat of our planet. Our young gardeners are pioneers in this green adventure, and what a legacy they are going to leave for future generations. Well done, team! On our walk back to school, we saw the wonderful Pendle Hill, in the distance, looking fantastic.

Unfortunately, we were unable to go and plant the trees on 28th February 2024, as it was cancelled, but there is always a plan B! We went into the garden and planted more daffodil bulbs. Some of the raised beds were filled with topsoil, and we got busy planting pepper and basil seeds. The garden area is coming on nicely, and we are so looking forward to see what Spring has to offer.

What a fantastic session we had on Wednesday 21st February 2024. Jean had asked if the Flower Pot Gang would like to help her plant over 300 trees on the Fennyfold. We always like to help our friends at the allotment, so we jumped at the chance to help. We set off, not realising just how muddy it was and Oliver got stuck in the mud and fell backwards!! Oh my goodness. He was covered in it!! We met up with Jean and Mark and they showed us how to plant the trees, and that's when we really got stuck in. Everyone worked extremely hard. Sometimes our buckets ended up rolling across the Fennyfold, due to the really strong wind, so some of us had to go and chase them. At least it didn't rain, which makes a change. At the end of the session, Jean asked if we would like to go next week to help her finish the planting. We were so excited to say YES! Jean sent a message to say that she was so glad that everyone enjoyed themselves, and what a lovely bunch we are. Mrs Taylor and Mrs Cumming said that they couldn't agree more. We were very proud of you all. Well done, team!!

Over the Half Term holidays, Mrs Taylor and Mrs Cumming came in to arrange the logs that they had foraged before Christmas into a seating area for all to use.  Daffodil plants were put into the new raised bed, along with Spring bulbs.  The bug hotel needed some TLC following the storms that we have had, and with some spare logs, they made a log pile for the insects to enjoy.  It was a productive day and they certainly didn't need to go to the gym that night!!! smiley

February started off a bit disappointingly for the Flower Pot Gang. Even after 'gentle' reminders, some children were still running through our new, raised bed. However, we didn't dwell on in too much, as we were excited to fill it with plants that have been kindly donated to us from Towneley Garden Centre. We talked about how we should plant them, with the larger plants to the back, and the smaller ones to the front. Some of us did some composting and had a bit of a tidy around. The weather was perfect. It was cold, but there was no wind, no storms and even the sun made an appearance. What a lovely session to end our Half Term.

The last day in January was WET!!!! We got absolutely soaked wet through, but the weather didn't stop us. Mrs Taylor & Mrs Cumming were ever so proud of the team work shown in tonight's session. We still had our raised bed to fill with topsoil and we managed to finish it, ready for the plants to go in, next week. Oliver and Daisy got involved with the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch 2024, as did Mrs Taylor. Oliver said it was one of the best things he has ever done and enjoyed recording his findings.

Just before Christmas, Mrs Taylor and Mrs Cumming had been out foraging when they spotted some logs in the cemetery. Mrs Taylor rang Greenspace at Burnley Borough Council to ask permission for us to use them for gardening club. Roger was very helpful and said that it would be his pleasure to let us have them. With the help of Mr Cumming and Mr Kelly, we managed to collect them. It was extremely hard work!! The logs have been used to make a raised bed, with the others being used for a seating area. Some of the gang shovelled 1 tonne of topsoil to fill the raised bed, whilst the others re-potted the grasses and did some weeding. We worked extremely hard and we definitely earned our tea, tonight!!

The New Year brought some new members to the 'Flower Pot' Gang. We welcomed Benedict and Miley, and Oliver re-joined us after having a break. We got busy staining the euro pallets in preparation for planting in the Spring. There were quite a few daffodil bulbs left, so we planted them in pots. The ones we planted previously have started to pop through the soil. Roll on Spring!

22nd December 2023 saw the last day of school before breaking up for the Christmas holidays. We had a wonderful surprise from Year 2. Miss Hartley had bought a Christmas tree for the class, and they wanted to donate it to the gardening club. We said that we will re-pot it, nurture it and hopefully we will see it growing throughout 2024. Thank you Year 2. What a wonderful gesture.

14th December 2023 was our last gardening session. Mrs Taylor and Mrs Cumming had been out foraging for greenery, so that we could make some Christmas door hanging bouquets. Some of us found it rather tricky, but we didn't give up! We were very proud of our efforts.

Is it really December already? 7th December was a bit grey and cold, but there were still lots of jobs to be done. The strawberry runners were re-potted, ready to sell next year, the scarecrow was brought indoors. He really does need some TLC! More weeding was done and some of our beds were put to sleep for over the winter. Oscar found a snail and carefully added it to one of our bug hotels. The compost bins were fed with the weeds and some potatoes that were missed being harvested. There was quite a lot of rubbish in the garden area, from straw wrappers, so we collected it and put it in the bin. Everyone worked really hard tonight, but our 'Gardener of the Week' went to Oscar. He mucked in with EVERY job tonight. What a star!

Brrrr...it was an extremely cold night on 29th November 2023, but it didn't stop us getting out into the garden. We checked upon the bulbs we had planted. The garlic is coming on nicely, however, one of the onion beds became water-logged from all the rain we have had over the past few weeks, and we think they might have drowned. The brussel sprouts aren't doing as good as we thought. It looks like we've been having visitors that have taken a liking to them! We may get one or two, if we are lucky. We collected lots of leaves and sticks to construct our bug hotel, and we recycled our used milk cartons by putting them in the hotel, too. Heidi was our 'Gardener of the Week'. She did a great job in identifying the birds in the garden and could tell us all about the job of pollinators. After the session, we noticed the beautiful sunset. We all stopped and took a few moments to appreciate such beauty. Miss Daffodil & Miss Honey explained that gardening is not all about growing. It's about taking in the nature around us. What a lovely end to a lovely session.

On 22nd November 2023, we planted some daffodil bulbs, ready for Spring. As a treat, Miss Honey brought some biscuits for us. We really enjoyed them.

On 19th November 2023, Mrs Taylor and her big girl, Olivia, Mrs Cumming and Rafael attended the Parish's Gift Sale Day. We were delighted to have raised £55.50!! The money raised will be put towards much needed compost and seeds for the club. We are going to get our thinking caps on and hopefully have a Spring sale to raise some more funds to help the club. Thank you to everyone who supported The Flower Pot Gang. We really did appreciate it.

It was a busy, busy session on 15th November 2023. We made light-up jars, nature friendly reindeer dust and labels for our daffodil pots, ready to sell at the Parish Gift Sale on Sunday. Everyone got stuck in and had an enjoyable time.

8th November 2023 was a wet day, so we couldn't get into the garden. Instead, we did some willow weaving. We made wreaths and Christmas trees. At first, we thought it was quite tricky, but after a few attempts, we got the hang of it. A bit more practise, and we are sure they will look marvellous.

The sun was shining on Wednesday 1st November. We had a super time! The wild flower bed was weeded and put into the compost bin. We then watered the bins as they were a bit dry. Our raspberry plants gave us a nice, little crop. We couldn't help but eat a few that we picked. We decided to do an experiment with some of the potatoes that we harvested last half term. We want to find out if they will grow some new potatoes. Mrs Taylor told us that in gardening there are no mistakes, only experiments. Some 'lost' woodlouse that some of the gang found were put into our bug hotel. We hope they like their new home. The garlic that we planted has started to pop through the soil, as well as a couple of potato plants. After a general tidy up of the garden, we were all proud of our achievements, today. Our Gardener of the Week was George. He was keen as mustard and mucked in with everything. Last weeks Gardener of the Week was Scarlett. She was a super team player. Well done!

Wednesday 18th October 2023. It didn't rain today, but it was rather windy as storm 'Babette' was on its way. We collected the seeds from the sunflowers and wildflowers and put them in a pot, so then next year we can plant them. Our spring onions were harvested, which we sold during 'Enterprise Week', a few beds were weeded, and we fed 'Colin' the compost bin. Our bird boxes are up! Chris came to put them up and then we had go and find them. The first one was easy to find, but the second one was rather tricky. Eventually, we found it. We really hope that the birds will use our boxes. We'll keep you posted on this.

Wednesday 11th October 2024 was a damp, dreary day, but we didn't let it spoil our session. Chris, our friend from The Fennyfold Allotment Society visited us again. We learned about the different types of nest boxes and where the ideal location for them would be. Chris told us that they need to face in a north and east position. This is to avoid strong sunlight and harsh, wet winds. Chris also told us that the high up boxes for the blue tits need to be 4 metres high with an open flight path, so we chose spots without lots of small branches in the way. The robin nests need to be nice and secluded and about 2 metres high. Autumn and Winter are the best times to put up nest boxes as this is when birds are seeking homes to lay eggs. Miss Daffodil & Miss Honey explained to the children that natural nesting holes are rapidly declining for birds. Our woodland areas have fewer trees, and we have high volume of newly built house that lack little nooks and crannies for birds to nest in. With fewer homes to use for shelter and to raise their young in, there is now a decline in population for many of our feathered friends. Why don't you decide to put a nesting box up? By simply placing a nest box in an outdoor space, you will play an important, vital role in their survival. You will also be able to watch the fascinating lifecycle of birds! We also welcomed 2 new members who got stuck into helping plant onion and garlic bulbs. We managed to do some weeding and we dead-headed the sunflowers. The heads will be dried, and then we will use the seeds to feed the birds. Our 'Gardener of the Week' award went to Riley. The Flower Pot Gang said that he was a really good team player and he showed determination by not giving up. Well done Riley! Another busy session in the garden was had by all.

On 4th October, the garden club resumed. There were lots of jobs to be done in such a short space of time. Chris, our friend from The Fennyfold Community Allotments came to help us construct 2 protection canopies, to keep the birds from eating our crops. Some of the children did a sterling job at weeding some of the beds, but the highlight of the afternoon was when we harvested our potatoes!! The children were so thrilled and excited. They said "it's like digging for treasure!" This brought a lump to Mrs Taylor's throat. The children took some potatoes home and the rest were sold to staff, so that we can buy new potato seedlings, ready to harvest in Spring 2024. We had a very productive afternoon, with lots more jobs still to do.

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