Monday, 8 October 2018

End of the Summer Garden

The sunflowers are as beautiful when they are over as they were when they were blooming. In fact I think I like them more as they dry out and curl up. I have saved a few of them and am leaving the rest up for the birds and squirrels. The other morning there was a group of five blue tits flitting around them.
 This is the only one I have brought indoors so far. It stands in front of a mystery portrait from the boot fair-bought for £1.

 I spent about three hours yesterday clearing this side of the garden. I am going to plant the fuchsias from the pots at the back of this border. The large shrub at the back is a forsythia. It had produced lots of long stems which had reached the ground and begun to root under the shed, the fence and the house at the back. I hacked a lot of it off but it is still warm so it should be OK I think.
 There are still a couple of sunflowers in flower. In amongst the tangle of dead stems. 
 The clematis has produced one more flower. I think I should put this in the ground too. 

Below is the beginning of a project using lots of free cardboard from school. A new smart board was installed in one of the classrooms last week and the boxes are massive. I had to cut it in half to fit in my car. Last time I got hold of one of these, we made a large house in the nursery, which the kids spent a few happy weeks drawing all over and hiding in. Can you guess what I am going to make? I shall reveal more next week.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Blue Sky and Signage in Hastings

Lots and lots of photos of a perfect end of the summer trip to Hastings with my friend Chinmoyee. The sky really was this blue! There was lots of time for browsing in the second hand shops and a few little things came home with us. We had a lovely cafe lunch and a short walk on the beach. I took quite a few pictures of signs this time. I love Hastings, nearly as much as Dungeness! I am back at school now-the third week already, and also have lots of cat sitting. I have been painting and doll making, but neglecting the garden and the decorating I was planning. Oh well, there is only so much time in a day! No more writing in this post, just summery pictures to scroll through if you fancy. 

Monday, 6 August 2018

Sunflowers and the Beach

I planted these three months ago. I love them! They are so happy and so big! I had a few dicey moments when it was windy and rainy the other weekend, but bamboo stakes came to the rescue, and they survived. 

 The colours are like food for the eyes. The bees love them. 

The buds have a beautiful structure that reminds me of a Russian church dome. 

We decided to go to Dungeness on Saturday. We left early, had breakfast at a service station, spent time on the beach, had lunch in the cafe and left shortly afterwards,  so we were home in the later afternoon. It was lovely! It is still so hot, and it was great to be on the beach with the breeze.

 I love the view of the roofs over the shingle bank. 

The tide was far out, and the photos I took were with the zoom lens. They have come out quite blurry, with the effect of Impressionist paintings.
 Moth man in the distance. 

 The nuclear power station. I like the red chimneys against the green building.

 Pylons with personality. 

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Saving a Bee and the Magic of the Moment

Yesterday I was in the nursery in the morning. In amongst all the seeming chaos of new children who are like babies compared to the older ones, an assembly practice in the hall and lots of ball related arguments, I noticed one of the boys trying to squash a bee that was resting on some blue fabric. I had seen it there earlier and it had been there quite a while. I rushed over to stop him from killing it, and explained that it was just having a rest and that he should just watch it to see what it did. We watched for a little while, then I remembered the sugar water thing-where you can revive a poorly bee by giving it a little. In the meanwhile, another child had become interested, and he went inside to ask an adult to get me some of the sugar water. I put a little on my finger and the bee had a drink. It then crawled onto my finger. A girl had also become interested in the bee. The two boys went off to play with balls, and the girl follwed me into the garden. We put the bee on a Jasmine flower. It fell off though, so I gave it some more of the water. The girl was so interested and concerned for the bee. After a little while I put it down near some flowers. It sat for a moment, then flew off! We were both so excited! It is these little moments that I love about teaching. They can happen in any age group and any setting, and, although they can contribute to the never ending assessment of children, they are more important than that. They are the moments that are remembered as a shared experience which emotionally affects all involved as human beings. They can't be planned for, though they can be helped by good provision. I was telling the nursery teacher what happened this morning, and she asked whether I got any pictures. No! If I had left the situation to get an iPad or ask another adult for one, the moment would be gone. The pictures are in my mind though and, hopefully in the minds of the children involved.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Wild Garden

These pictures don't show the wildness very well but it is there. Everything is growing at an amazing rate so I am just lettting it happen at the moment!
Verbena Bonariensis. I love the structure of this plant, and as it is so tall it has the blue background of the sky each day and looks beautiful. It has square prickly stems which are quite raspy on your skin. Some has self-seeded in the concrete where I took the decking up. I should probably pull it up but I am leaving it for now.
This is about a week ago. The sunflowers in the pots could really do with being in the ground as they wilt each day if I don't water them in time. The ones in the ground are quite tall now and there is not any more room to plant the others. I gave some to next door and have four stragglers left in small pots. I can't wait until they start to flower but hope they get really tall first.

 The daisies that grow in the corner of the steps are one of my  favourite plants. They flower for ages and look pretty there. The poor Christmas tree is still awaiting a bigger pot.
I grew the lavender from seed years ago and it reliably comes back each year. This year it has done particularly well and is filled with bees most of the time.