Not sure what to do when?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Planning a sensory garden

Edible plants can be incorporated into a sensory garden design.

A sensory garden incorporates plants that stimulate all five senses, taste, touch, sight, sound and smell. This type pf garden is ideal when working with children especially if some children have some sensory impairment.

To whet your appetite I've written an article on my website here to provide some ideas as a starting point to creating your own sensory growing area.

If you have a sensory garden or are going to create them , then I would love some photos and information to include in the example school gardens pages on the website. IN fact I'd love to include examples of any type of school garden. Don't be modest or think your garden has to be perfect to be included - we can even learn from one another's mistakes.

If you think you could help by adding your school garden to the website than
click here for more information.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Win a Vegetable seeds Field Guide

On my Gren lane Allotments blog, back in October, I wrote a review of The Pictorial Guide to Seeds of the World by Terry Woodger 

Well Terry has now produced a series of five field guides:
Each field guide focuses on one of five groups of seeds - vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices, garden flowers and trees, shrubs and vines and is basically an abridged version of the book I reviewed previously which covers all these seed groups. To read the complete review click here

Like their big brother each guide contains information on collecting, cleaning and storing seeds and each guide has 100 or more colour, scaled photographs  of seeds just like the ones in the larger book.

If you read the main review then basically the same applies to the smaller field guides so I don't want to go over the same ground and repeat myself here.

So why am I mentioning these guides - well, Terry has sent me a set of the five guides which I have decided to offer as prizes in five different competitions. I'm going to start with the Vegetable Seeds guide as I think that will be the one that will most appeal to most of my blog visitors.

Each of the field guides is available on Amazon at at cost of £19.95 so these are prizes well worth having.

I'm going to run each of the competitions on both this and Our Plot on Green lane Allotments blog and each competition will focus on the group of seeds featured in the prize guide.

So what do you have to do?
Look at the edited pictures of vegetables and try and identify each one. Although they may not all be technically vegetables we use them all as vegetables. The photo may be of any part of the vegetables not always the part that we eat. The closing date for the competition is 31 March 2012 The winner will be chosen at random from the list of those who get all the answers correct. In the unlikely event that no-one gets all the answers right the ones with the most correct answers will go into the 'hat'! You may only enter once!
Don't post your answers in the comments area as if you do everyone will see them, I've set up an entry form here

To enter the competition click here

The competition form is a bit of an experiment and so to make sure that your entry has registered can you leave a comment on this post to tell me you have sent in an entry so I can check that it has worked - don't want you to miss out!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The School Vegetable Patch website has moved

Just to let you know that The School Vegetable Patch website has moved to 

I have had no option than to make this move which has involved a great amount of work but the web management system that I was using is being discontinued. This is the second time this has happened and so I am now moving away from the web management idea and I will now have more control over the website location.

Whilst carrying out the removal work I have also taken the opportunity to make some changes and to add some information. Additional ideas have also been added to the curriculum links section.

Please take a few minutes to browse and also let me know if you find any broken links or errors which I will be happy to repair.

Would you also pass on this information to any teachers that you know as I don't want them to lose access to any classroom resources they may regularly use.

Thank You

PS My other website is also currently on the move. It isn't completed yet but is here

Monday, 6 February 2012

Free Raised Beds for Schools from WoodBlocx

For a second year and to help promote School gardening,  WoodBlocx are giving away £2500 worth of free raised beds to schools.

If you are interested email before 29th February. 

Enter  "We want WoodBlocX”  in the subject line

10 schools will be chosen at random to receive £250 worth of free WoodBlocX.

Let me know if you are successful!

Support Needed in Stafford

Do you live near to Stafford Sports College? If so can you respond to this appeal?

Stafford Sports College need your help! 

We need help to make a memorial Garden for a teacher that passed away in school hours. We need ideas and things that you can donate
Thank you.

Please contact

Michael Clarke
Stafford Sports College
Head Gardener

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Win £100 to spend of equipment for school

Spotty Green Frog are running a writing/drawing competition for schools and are offering prizes of:
  • £100 for your school to spend at plus a prize for you if you win a category.
  • £25 for your school to spend at plus a prize for you if you are runner up in a category.
  • Best illustrations and best handwriting – a surprise!
The categories are:
• Nursery – Louis the Frog – picture only!
• Reception – Year 1 – Louis the Frog has an Adventure
• Years 2 – 3 – Louis the Frog Plays a Joke
• Years 4 – 6 – Louis the Frog – a Mystery Story

Louis the frog is the logo character of the company. 

Work can be submitted from home or school.

Spotty Green Frog offer a wide range of products for primary schools and children at home. This includes gardening and cooking equipment specially designed for children as well as many other educational toys and resources including for indoor play, outdoor activities and resources.

Take a look at there website to see what your children could win - competition details and entry form can be obtained from here

And if you do win let me know as I'd love one of my visitors to win!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Time to think of seeds.

If you plan to buy seeds from one of the many seed companies then you need to start thinking of what you want to buy now - that is if you haven't already.

You may want to involve the children and also add a real life project to your curriculum.

Depending on the age of the children these are just some ideas:

Integrate into the ICT curriculum
  1. Children to browse the seed catalogues online (there are direct links to some on my website here) You may decide to give them some particular seeds or varieties to search for on the Internet (Gives practice of using links and icons and also searching using key words etc)
  2. Search for seeds that fulfil a particular criteria e.g. can be sown in a given month
  3. Compare different varieties of seed for a particular type of plant and try to decide which would be best for growing, within the school calendar - you don't want a harvest in August, varieties that are easy to grow or produce reliable crops, if space is an issue then varieties that don't grow too large. 
Link to the maths and ICT curriculum -
  1. Compare the prices of seeds offered by various seed companies - many give the number of seeds in each packet so the children could use a spreadsheet to work out the cost per 10/100 seeds etc. For younger children this could be set up for them so they only input data and older children can set up their own spreadsheet. Price per pack/formula to cost price on 1 seed/ formula to cost 10/100 seeds etc.)
  2. Use a spreadsheet to cost buying seeds from different companies - not forgetting delivery charges - you could set different pairs or groups of children the task of researching a particular seed company
If you can think of other ideas then please add them by posting a comment.

Help in choosing varieties and types of plants that are suitable for growing with children and in particular in a school environment is given on my website click here