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Garden Group Meeting Tuesday 22nd September 2009

Present  Gillian Brown, Pete Hill, Mike Humphries, Shona Johnson,, Helen MacGregor, Gillian Mair, Christine Paterson,  Debbie Tully.
Apologies Viv Bowden, Liz Walshe, Catriona Black.

The Garden Group met in the school garden to assess progress made & discuss the way forward & then adjourned to the Bridge Inn to make a plan. (Pete headed home with the kids).

The grass has recovered well from the wet weather & the trampling it received while Gus Egan & Earth Calling were installing the amphitheatre area.

The stage was looked at & the drop was discussed.  As children are now meant to be aware of risk & a fall would be onto the grass it was felt that the school should have the say regarding fitting a rail or not.  Mrs. Walshe please advise.

Gus has one more vegetable box to build & install.  The materials are being stored at Ratho Byres Forge.

The hedging has been ordered, we discussed upgrading the order from an economy mix   to a special mix (more variety & larger plants).  It was agreed that the order should be upgraded.  we are now paying £119.27 for 120 off 3-4ft bare root plants.  These plants need to be in the ground within 4 days of them arriving, dispatch is mid-late November.

Shona will liaise with Gus as to ground preparation that is required prior to the hedging being planted.  Gus has priced for planting the hedging.

Gus has ordered the willow for the willow tunnel, again this is planted mid November.

Parents have completed the woodchip path.  Half the path had been priced to be done by Earth Calling & the other half to be done by Capital Skills.  Earth Calling ran out of time due to wet weather & Capital Skills could not say when they would be able to come & do it due to other commitments.  The parents decided, that to keep the ball rolling & the garden progressing, to build the path.

The large raised bed built by Capital Skills has had any soil spoil from the path & amphitheatre area placed into it.  More soil will be needed.

The area for the second raised bed was discussed & a simple sleeper wall with the slope leveling into it was agreed to be a better solution than another raised bed.

Capital Skills have ordered the sleepers but the Garden Group have decided to carry out the work ourselves.  Ideally we would like to get access over a weekend to the garden.

Bob Rudge of Capital Skills will arrange to deliver 30 sleepers & add that cost onto the £1200 we are owed to them for the first raised bed.

Using large stones to use as a feature to break up the raised beds was discussed.  It was felt that we should approach the local quarries to see if they were keen to donate some stone.

Mike Humphries will get in touch with Hillwood Quarry about acquiring some large stone.

(Mike got positive feedback from the quarry, we have to arrange a visit to see what is available).

Debbie Tully will investigate the possibility of introducing composting to the garden.

Could the school get a brown bin uplift from the council?

Helen MacGregor has applied to B&Q for £250.00 funding (seeds, compost, fruit trees, shrubs to the value of £250.00)

(This application has been successful, well done Helen!).

Morrissons are running their Lets Grow campaign again this year which the school is registered for so if you are shopping at Morrissons don’t forget your vouchers.

Maintenance of the garden was discussed,  it was felt that a strimmer would be a useful tool for cutting the grass. Gillian Brown will investigate petrol & rechargeable & get prices.

A parent has offered to pay for a commemorative bench for the garden, Gillian Mair will get in touch & invite them to the garden.

There are several jobs in the garden where the children can start to become involved.

A Wednesday morning from 9.00 am - 10.30 am was the best time for the parents with a maximum of 15 children at a time.

Current jobs are; planting daffodils, topping up the bark on the path, topping up the top soil in the veg boxes. (more top soil will need to be ordered).

Christine Paterson will try to get 2 large bags of daffodils from Lidl if they are still in stock.

Getting the children involved in the planting design for the the large planter would be a great way to get them involved.  The possible involvement of Suntrap at Gogar was discussed.  The children could visit Suntrap to see mature plants, the lecturers from Suntrap could visit the school to advise on ideas & plants.  (Feedback from Liz Walshe on this idea required before we progress it further).

Ideas for the Community Arts Project grant money that the school has were discussed.

ideas that came forward to pass onto Liz Walshe were -

A wind powered clock which could be viewed in the garden & by the community passing by.

An archway entrance into the garden.

The way forward is to get the sleepers installed & large raised bed areas filled with soil & prepare the ground for the hedging. Ideally we would like to gain access to the garden over a weekend to get the bulk of the heavy work completed before winter sets in.

Shona will discuss this with Liz Walshe.

Meeting completed.