The seeds of time, start of planting

There have been hardly any acorns this year, so we were forced to order some seeds from a catalogue. These are all native species which should fit best into the local landscape. I was also eager to source the seeds locally – that was our original plan, and the seeds were, after all, free. As luck would have, it we have a sycamore tree growing in our playground at Queens Park which has started to drop seeds, just the thing to gather up and plant. Sycamores are not native, but they do grow well – like weeds, in some people’s estimation – so I thought it a safe bet for propagation.

The sycamore provides good wood for carvers like me too, so I am quite fond of it. I also quite like the idea of our school’s sycamore’s offspring being planted out in local woods as a kind of memento of the school. I have gathered up some sweet chestnuts for planting too, which I would normally eat; but sacrifices must be made. These are not native either, but they do grow well, and are easy to plant.

Meanwhile, at the school we put up shelves for potting the seeds and nuts. I say we; but Axel, our brilliant school caretaker and Poppy, my teaching assistant colleague, were much faster at construction than I was. In any case, somebody had to take the photos. The children have now started planting and we expect to carry on for the next couple of months.  

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