We have had a very busy and full day in the WildLearning Area today. With the weather actually feeling almost Spring-like, it was lovely to be out there! I started by visiting my local nursery growers, G-Scapes. I have worked with this company a lot in the past and they have been brilliant, giving us some really good deals on the plants I wanted for our Insect Zone. We have had lots of different types of Buddleias, in different colours so we can compare and see which are favoured by different insects. Buddleias are renown as a rich nectar source and are very popular with butterflies! We also had some other nectar rich plants that should really shoot up this year, giving us a bank of nectar for insects in the summer. Some year 6 pupils helped to unload the car and bring all these great plants down ready for planting.
We have purchased lots of pond and marsh plants, as well as a planted coir matting that will kick-start our pond into looking a little more natural. Our mashy area at one end of the pond was ready to go and the marshy plants arrived today. They are only tiny plug plants at the moment and I laid them out where they were to be planted. Some year 6 pupils came and planted all of these … and got a little muddy in the process, but they all enjoyed it.
The area does not look too amazing at the moment, but in a couple of months, all these plants should start growing and create a spectacular show we hope, attracting all sorts of wildlife. By taking lots of photos now, we should appreciate the transformation over the coming months. All these native pond and marsh species have been purchased from HabitatAid and species include:
Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)
Water forget me not (Myosotis palustris)
Water Plantain(Alisma aquatic-plantago)
Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga)
Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Water mint (Mentha aquatica)
Lesser Spearwort(Ranunculus flammula)
Slender Tufted Sedge (Carex acuta)
Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cucli)
Sneezewort (Achillea ptarmica)
Skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)
Marsh Woundwort(Stachys palustris)
Water Avens (Geum rivale)
Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus)
Greater spearwort (Ranunculus lingua
Another two Year 4 classes came down to plant their wild flower plug and to sprinkle some wild flower seed on the area. Using their ‘digging stick’ they all made a little hole and planted their plant. It is lovely that every child in this year group has planted one and they really enjoyed taking part. The other year groups will all be involved in different element of this area’s development so they very much feel it is ‘theirs’.
The buddleias and other insect plants were planted and then everything was watered thoroughly. A big thank you to the Parish Council who very kindly let us use the tap in the adjoining graveyard to water these in. Without them, it would have been an awful lot of watering cans!
It was fantastic to begin planting in earnest this week and I am sure within the month, we will start to see changes and developments as seeds germinate and the pond plants begin to establish.