Saturday, 8 March 2014

Gardening in our home education

Well we had an early start this morning as we are off to paint tyres to make garden planters in the Mill lane garden.It has been an exciting time building this garden.A time of highs and lows,of extreme stress,worrying about whether it will be ready for judging, and even more importantly not wanting to let the day care users and their parents down , but also a vibrant example of people coming together,combining talents and working towards a goal.We've had paint and tyres donated and all we've given is our time.

From a personal perspective it has renewed my desire to create a beautiful wild garden space out of our one and a half acre plot at home and I have already been clearing brambles this week, they grow so rapidly when spring arrives.

I have obtained free wild flower seeds, seed potatoes and even rescued a washed up tyre from the high tide at the weekend and my daughter rolled it back through the village.

 I've also joined a lovely facebook community called The Friendly Gardeners who have so many ideas and are full of encouragement..The project has shown me that it is possible to garden on a shoe sting budget even to the point of making a green house or cold frame out of plastic bottles if you put your mind to it.After all that's what true cottage gardening is all about.

We have always used our wild space for home education.We have found dunnocks and blackbirds nests,stumbled across a pheasant's nest, rescued wood pigeons and magpies.Watched slugs and a mole as it buried itself into the soil and there has been many a time when the children had to shepherd springy lambs back into the field behind us.

The twins are thirteen now and my son is less inclined to go into the garden,particularly to 'learn' anything but I realise that in fact he understands the food chain because he sees it in his daily life, he has lived with chickens for the last four years and was there when we collected them,built the coop and their enclosure and he knows exactly how to encourage them with pellets to come home if they decide to go on a recce round the village.There's nothing funnier than watching a hen scurrying back to its coop alongside a little boy who is going to feed it.

He has stood in the field watching lambs being born,called the farmer when a sheep had a difficult birth and witnessed the sadness of a still born lamb , (all part of the circle of life) but it is something than many children never have the opportunity to experience and he and his siblings are exceptionally lucky to live where they do. The daffodils in the garden are just coming into bud and the lambs in the village are due next week so I guess that spring is here.

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