The school garden

I spent most of my day off yesterday in the garden at school with Ben and a friend, weeding and putting in new plants. There’s a small garden there but it has been neglected and is a pretty sorry sight. Someone at some point has put in some bamboo which was a big mistake because it just takes over and is impossible to remove. Someone also put in two cabbage trees – why, oh why? Cabbage trees are very common in New Zealand and they’re not the most attractive of plants (= butt ugly). They also grow very tall and constantly drop their long narrow leaves. There were also some tubs with nothing in them aside from a few crocuses so we filled those with plants too. Here are a couple of the tubs now:IMG_5094.jpg

This morning I was delighted to see lots of children standing around looking and touching the plants. It was like they were aliens who had just landed on earth and never seen a plant before. It was quite amusing.

It felt really warm yesterday. I got rather hot gardening and was thinking that it felt like summer. But then this morning I looked at the maximum temperature for yesterday and it was only 13.9°C. It just goes to show how the human body acclimatises to the local climate because 14°C in Auckland would have felt freezing but here it was almost hot. I prefer this climate.

9 responses to “The school garden”

  1. See if there’s a horticulture society in the toon, their usually very helpful. The cooncil’s parks & gardens folk may help/ donate plants etc. The here may even be someone who has a remit for school grounds as well.

    • I could certainly try contacting someone to help with the purchase of plants. We just bought these with our own money from Dobbies. I also transplanted some strawberries I already had in my own garden. Maybe next time I’ll try those other options.

  2. I don’t agree with the summary of cabbage trees as butt ugly. Like all plants they have their place and can be beautiful in it. Maybe that place isn’t a school yard in Aberdeen, but in a stand of New Zealand native trees they add a very pleasing texture and contour. Their flower is lovely too – big sprays of cream flowers which smell very sweet and are an important early nectar source for birds and insects. Cabbage trees flowered profusely in NZ last year and were a magnificent sight all over the country. I am actually nurturing lots of self seeded ones in our garden this year, ready to transplant them into a swampy area on our road frontage where they will thrive and add to our shelter belt of NZ native bush.

    • Maybe it’s a personal preference? We had one in our backyard in Christchurch and I always thought it was ugly. They get very tall and end up being all trunk with just a tiny bit of green at the top. I prefer to have a larger amount of leafiness than tree trunk especially in a barren school playground. I also can’t imagine they’d be much use in a shelter belt because when they get tall they’re just all tree trunk. They’re a bit like palm trees in this way which don’t really provide leafy shade or protection. I’m not a big fan of palm trees either for the same reason.

  3. That’s something really positive that you can do and I would hope that everyone would be happy with it.
    Bamboo is definitely a very bad thing.

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