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Monday, 25 July 2016

Scoil Phádraigh Naofa Bandon have most Improved Garden

Scoil Phádraigh Naofa Bandon have won the most Improved Garden category at the recent Cork School Garden Awards organised by Muintir na Tire in association with Cork County Council and Griffins Garden Centre Dripsey.
At the start of the school year they devised a garden plan for the year ahead. They set new flower and vegetable seeds in seed trays and encouraged all classes to get involved and to take good care of their seeds
They transferred and planted the seeds from the seed trays into the garden once the weather permitted in Spring
They got each class to set sunflower seeds and once the sunflowers grow, they will have a competition to see which class has the tallest sunflower.
They created new Minion Planters using old tyres donated by a local farmer
They repaired or replaced the old beds with new raised beds
They replaced their scarecrow who is no longer standing thanks to the Irish weather
They got in touch with the Men’s Shed  to construct and donate a new insect house as their old one was falling apart
They asked a gardener from the local co-op for gardening tips and advice for the year ahead
They marked the Centenary of the 1916 Rising with plants and special features in the school garden
They continue to display produce from the garden in the school throughout the year, eg. had a Christmas display, daffodils for daffodil day, vegetables baskets at the end of the school year etc...
They created many learning opportunities for the students by displaying laminated information cards on the different flowers, fruits and vegetables in the garden
They continued with with their recycling and conservation efforts. They hope to collect rain water using a waterbutt. This recycled rain water will be used to water the fruit and vegetables in our school garden
They also encourage the students to place their fruit peels and unwanted fruit in the class compost bin which is transferred to the two larger compost bins in the garden.

Scoil Mhuire Schull are most Innovative at Cork School Garden Awards

Scoil Mhuire National School from the Mizen Peninsula have won the Innovation and Creativity Award at the Cork Schools Garden Awards organised by Cork County Federation Muintir na Tire in Association with Cork County Council and Griffins Garden Centre Dripsey.
The beautiful garden at Scoil Mhuire contains many different elements and encompass many of the elements which the competition encourages. All of the classes are involved in different aspects of the garden.
 Junior infants planted bluebells, daffodils, snowdrops in containers.
They watched them grow in March and loved the colours. Sixth class helped the junior infants  as they planted daisies, poppies, fresia, wallflowers, anemones & avens.
In May they looked out at all the lovely flowers and weeded around them, again with lots of help from sixth class!
First Class took charge of the tubs and enjoyed planting Marigolds, begonias, petunias & pansies and watered and weeded these tubs everyday.
Senior infants had lots of fun taking care of the herb garden. We planted Basil, Parsley, Coriander and Rosemary.  They loved weeding and watering their garden and their Mums loved it when they collected bunches of herbs and wrapped them as a gift for Christmas.
In their Nature Diaries, everyday they research and record interesting facts about wildlife all arounds them. They learnt about so many garden birds and animals. They love observing nature all around them. On their Nature Table throughout the year they have collected and labelled leaves, buds and wildflowers. Every season brings a different display. They loved planting Spring bulbs in Autumn and watched their progress outdoors. They watched the life cycle of an egg and hatched out their own little chicks in the classroom for Easter.
In February Second Class sprouted their potatoes. in early March they planted them in the garden.
They put strawberry plants around the edge of the veggie patch.  They sowed seeds  of Sunflowers, Pumpkins, Scarlet Runner Beans, Courgettes and Ragged Jack Kale in the classroom.
They looked after them until May and then they planted them in the garden patch. They weed and water their plants regularly.
3rd Class are looking after The Wildlife Garden. They have a Buddleia plant which attracts beautiful butterflies. Last years class sowed marigolds, alyssum and candytuft. These flowers will continue to grow and self-seed every year and they were great flowers for attracting bees and other beneficial insects like ladybirds. This year they sowed another hardy annual seed, cornflowers, These flowers will also attract bees and other insects. In their wildlife garden they also have raspberries, Lady’s Mantle, primroses, bluebells and Spring bulbs which were beautiful earlier in the year.
4th & 5th classes have been busy weeding and replanting the sensory garden.
In this garden they have different plants which represents each of the senses- sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. Each pupil in the class has been involved in weeding the garden and preparing it.
In the classroom they grew marigolds & French and dahlias from seeds.
Here are some plants they have growing in their garden:
Sight: Dahlias, Marigolds, Algerian Ivy, Hosta.
Smell: Lavender
Taste: Nasturtiums, Fennel, Common Sage.
Touch: Lambs Ear
Sound: Variety of grasses (Various heights and colours)

As a whole School every class has adopted a nature diary in which each child in rotation takes this home in the evening to observe, record and illustrate wildlife and nature they see on their route home from School. They are working towards getting their fourth green flag which is for travel, they encourage all pupils to participate in WOW (walk on Wednesday) They have also carried out surveys to establish the need for Zebra crossings, footpaths and other safety needs in the Village. Well done to all.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Clonakilty Boys NS are most Creative gardeners.

Clonakilty Boys NS and Scoil Mhuire NS Schull were Joint winners at the recent Cork School Gardens Competition organised by Muintir na Tire in association with Cork County Council  and Griffins Garden Centre Dripsey.

Clonakilty BNS Garden involves everyone in the school and beyond. They include Mr. Harrington, the principal who has given his wholehearted support and all classes get busy working in the garden.
 Mr. Murphy and 4th, 5th tend to the Sunshine Garden. Ms. Fitzmaurice and 6th class.  Mr. O’Riordan and 2nd class look after the Courtyard garden and they also run a weekly gardening club called Perfect Planters on a Tuesday after school.
Noreen Minihan, Chairperson Clonakilty Tidy Towns is a great help and source of encouragement:
The Parents Association also help and  Patrick Murphy donated topsoil for the garden.
Finbarr, the caretaker, who has helped build the raised beds and recycled planters.
This year Sherpa Kids who run an after school group created a bed in the Sunshine Garden. Well done to all involved.

Conna NS Best at upcycling Colour and Art

Conna National School have won the best Upcycling Colour and Art Category in the annual Cork Schools Garden Competition organised by Muintir na Tire in association with Cork County Council and Griffins Garden Centre Dripsey.
This is their second year as entrants in the Cork Schools Gardening Competition, and they are delighted to enter again having acquired a prize last year in the Small Garden category.
In the limited small space at their disposal they have grown a great selection of foods including salad crops, fruits and more. They have no grass area, therefore all planting had to be in raised beds, pots or boxes. Strawberries grown at school have been used to make milkshakes and strawberry sauce and of course eaten just ripe from the plant.
They are lucky to have a space which is south-facing and is both warm and sheltered. They also use their huge south-facing school windows to grow seeds and for propagation. The school is very well fenced with a secure perimeter wall.
They exercise a rotation system of planting and they make their own compost. They have recently installed a Water Butt, for the collection of rainwater which they use to water their plants. They also have started to make their own organic plant food from nettles which they hope to use to boost their crops and flowers. They have a cloche for hardening off plants.
One of the experiments last year was to grow a tomato plant from a container which was hanging up-side-down, and they are  glad to report that it was a success. They enjoyed some juicy ripe cherry tomatoes from the vine in September 2015. Well done to all

Monday, 11 July 2016

Drinagh are Top Eco Friendly Gardeners in Muintir na Tire Schools Garden Copmetition

This is Drinagh NS gardening team. 

All children in the school  get the opportunity to do some work on the school garden.
The edible garden was established some years ago and each year they try add to the variety of fruit and vegetables that they grow.  This year all classes have sown seeds in doors during the spring and these have been planted outdoors during the month of May. They now have the following thriving in  this area  onions, lettuce, peas, runner beans, broad bean, potatoes, pumpkins, courgettes, beetroot, spinach, leeks, cabbage and  carrots. These will be looked after during the summer months by children and their families who volunteer to water and weed the beds.  They also grown a variety of nectar rich annuals such as marigolds, nasturtiums, sunflowers and many more.  They have a variety of fruit bushes which they try to add to every year. At the moment they have rhubarb, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.  They hope the summer is good and that they get a bumper crop from all of these.
This year they are working on achieving their Green flag for encouraging biodiversity. They have recently set up a biodiversity trail in the school grounds, where there are creating a welcoming environment for birds, bees, insects and other creatures by planting a range of  nectar rich annuals, perennial shrubs and our new willow dome.  They keep a patch of nettles because they are food to a wide variety of caterpillars. The honeysuckle a native plant is grown because the flower attract butterflies, it provides cover for the birds and the fruit is eaten is eaten by lots of different birds such as robins, finches and blackbirds. Their garden is organic  so that the vegetables are healthy and none of the habitats are damaged by chemicals.