Recently Jane and I have been out and about in the lovely sunny weather checking on crops around the country. Plants have definitely burst into growth and many schools are showing reasonable plants that should pass muster at Chelsea.
Our time in Northampton was reassuring. Lettuce ‘Tom Thumb’ at Northgate School Arts College, have great potential to shine and turnips at East Hunsbury Primary School will be superb if they can safely transfer them to smaller containers. Flore Primary School had grown some Californian poppies, nasturtium and some great beetroot that have time to grow even further.
Further north in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, I visited the 1940’s garden of Chaucer Junior School and was most impressed with their Anderson shelter and sand bag construction that formed a great background to their Homeguard potatoes and some wonderful peas. Most impressive of all was the parade of children dressed up as evacuees, complete with gas masks boxes and appropriate head gear. As part of the teaching plan of Chaucer they’ve had great fun and learned a great deal too. Well done Kerry Wheatley and her husband Derek.
Further north in Yorkshire we visited Carr Green Primary at Brighouse to discover a scarecrow designed to represent a land army girl. Named Dorothy after a local resident who briefed the garden club on Dig for Victory she really acts the part.
Our call on the way back to London was to Digby Primary, near Sleaford, Lincs, whose garden club had built another WW2 garden complete with unexploded bomb and Ferguson tractor. Lots of pots of flowers and veg were looking really good especially when displayed on the authentic shelving unit built by helpers of the school.
Last call of the week was to Nelmes Primary School in Hornchurch, Essex where pupils have had great success in their greenhouse and school windowsills growing tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries and sweet peas for the 2013 garden at Chelsea. Everything looked good in the sunshine, especially their runner and French beans. We hope the sun will continue to shine between now and the show.