Posts Tagged ‘free sweet peas for schools’

Green-fingered reception class gets growing

February 26th, 2015 | Garden Diaries, The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 1 Comment

Woolaston Primary School Garden Club

Discovery Class pupils at Woolaston Primary School in Gloucestershire have wellies and watering cans at the ready.  They’re all set for a school garden adventure!

The four and five year olds got a taste for gardening in the autumn when they planted bulbs with teacher Mrs Price. Excitement has been mounting ever since the first green spears broke the soil in December. Now the snowdrops are in full bloom and the daffs aren’t far off.  The children are hooked: they can’t wait to get sowing and growing this spring.

We’ve been working with Mr Fothergill’s to decide the best flowers and vegetables to grow in the school garden. The biggest challenge is choosing varieties that will be ready before the summer holidays at the end of July.


Sweet peas  were at the top of our flower list, closely followed by Cosmos and Calendula. As well as being prolific flowerers, these three have nice big seeds that will be easy for reception pupils to handle.

We’ve got a packet of Candytuft seeds which should offer a low-maintenance way to brighten up the classroom’s outdoor area. And we hope to transform a weedy patch by the tyre trail into a nature garden with an RSPB Flower seed mix


Carrots were a must – the Discovery Class eats them at snack time several times a week. We went for a round variety that can be grown in containers outside the classroom. Perhaps we’ll team them up with the Candytuft.

Peas had to feature too. Eaten fresh from the pod, they’re a sure-fire way to get our young gardeners fixed on growing their own for life.

We’ve also got Broad Beans, Garlic, lots of salad leaves and some cheerful multi-coloured varieties of Radish and Beetroot.  Tomatoes might be tricky, but we’re going to give them a go. The variety we chose is Sub-Arctic Plenty – its fruit can set in cold weather, so even if we have a chilly start to summer a few may ripen before the end of July.

Lastly, we decided to throw in some Leeks . They won’t be ready until the autumn, but maybe the class can make some leek soup to share with the incoming reception pupils. With a bit of luck we’ll get them hooked on gardening too.

Next steps

Getting an early start is essential to ensure we have lots of flowers and veg before the summer holidays. We’re going to sow as much as we can in March and early April – but tender crops and some flowers will have to wait until after the Easter holidays.

Keep in touch over the next few months to see what we’re up to, the challenges we face and what we learn along the way. Share your gardening experiences and tips too – we’d love to hear them!

Here’s the full list of what we’re growing, all carefully selected for early flowering and cropping:


Mr Fothergill’s have supplied Woolaston Primary School with all the seeds they need to produce a really productive school garden this year.  The Woolaston Primary School gardening blog posts are written by school parent Mary Hamblyn.  She also blogs at  

Mud, mud, glorious mud for the Incredible Edible Ilfracombe pre-school garden club

February 26th, 2015 | Garden Diaries, The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Incredible Edible Ilfracombe pre-school garden club site

Launched back in January and meeting fortnightly, the Incredible Edible Ilfracombe pre-school club is proving to be a fun and hands-on experience for families wishing to start/learn more about growing our own food together.

Making seedbombs in Ilfracombe

With half-term on our hands and the first opportunity to involve older siblings and friends, a great tutorial on making seed bombs popped up on Twitter;

  • 1 part mixed salad seed
  • 1 part compost to 5 parts sticky clay consistency soil

What a great idea, a spot of cheeky food sharing throughout town and a hands on muddy activity for the kids to really get involved with.

So, the first task chosen, we just had to decide on what to fill our seed bombs with, and we chose Radish Patricia, Spring Onion – Lilia, and American Land Cress.

Unfortunately, the morning of our meeting brought rain, and a lot of it.  Parts of the garden were looking more like an episode of Peppa Pig with muddy puddles everywhere.

Reluctant to postpone, the polytunnel became a make-shift shelter so the planned activities could continue with hope the weather would ease.  Local artist Francesca Owen helped to create to the seed bomb gloopy mixture whilst eager parents and the younger children were paper pot making, seed sowing and labelling up Globe Artichoke and Asparagus Ariane seed for our newly constructed permanent raised beds.

Thankfully the rains eased enough for a brave few to get outside and plant some Sarpo Mira main crop potatoes. Dug straight into the ground which had previously been prepared with a ‘lasagne’ technique of layered cardboard and manure.

The children squealed with delight when numerous wiggly worms were found and holes were haphazardly dug out for burying the potatoes within. We chose to not chit our potatoes, with the jury out on should we/shouldn’t we – it was felt best to take the opportunity and to just get them into the ground.

As the rains returned, we all retreated to the shed for well earned pancakes and hot cocoa with the promise of spring and outdoor picnics to look forward to.

Processed with Moldiv


Mr Fothergill’s have supplied the Incredible Edible pre-school garden club with all the seeds they need to produce a really productive school garden this year.  The Incredible Edible pre-school gardening blog posts are written by parent Lindsay Derbyshire who also co-ordinates Incredible Edible Ilfracombe.  Find out more about Incredible Edible on their Facebook page 

Free Sweet Peas for schools, get a packet of sweet pea Tiller Girls for the Mr Fothergill’s sweet pea competition

January 22nd, 2015 | Competitions, The flower garden | 3 Comments

Mr Fothergill’s are offering free sweet peas for schools to the first 100 applicants.   Any of Britain’s schools which would like the chance to win £250 by growing sweet peas this summer for Mr Fothergill’s national competition are being given an added incentive by Mr Fothergill’s with the offer of free seed.  The company has a packet of 20 seeds of its brand new and exclusive sweet pea Tiller Girls, each worth £2.09, to give to the first 100 schools which contact it expressing an interest.  The judging will be held at Capel Manor College, north London, on Saturday 18 July 2015.  Tiller Girls is a very sweetly scented, large flowered mixture of attractive ‘flakes’.

Sweet Pea Tiller Girls from Mr Fothergill'sThere are two categories for schools’ entries – those staged on the day and those sent by post – each with a £250 first prize, £150 second prize and £100 third prize to be donated to the winning schools’ funds.  There are also two similar categories for individual youngsters, each with respective first, second and third prizes of £125, £75 and £50 in garden centre vouchers.

The prizes will be awarded to those entrants whose displays have the greatest all-round appeal in the opinion of the judges, one of whom will be the company’s John Fothergill.  He says “We want to encourage as many schools and youngsters to enter as possible and for it all to be as much fun as possible.  Sweet peas are easy to grow and everyone loves their flower form and fragrance.”

Entrants may either post their blooms in a two-litre soft drinks bottle or turn up at the college on the day of the show to stage their flowers.  Mr Fothergill’s has devised  a method of packing and mailing sweet peas through the post to ensure postal entries arrive in good condition.  Read more for full details of the competition.

To request a free packet of sweet pea Tiller Girls for a school, please write to Schools Sweet Pea Competition, Mr Fothergill’s Seeds, Gazeley Road, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7QB.  Remember to include the sender’s address.