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Friday 24 July 2009

Wed 22nd July 2009 - Osborne Middle School.

This was our second visit to Osborne Middle School, continuing with the work on the pond and around the grounds. The pond has now been fenced and filled with water, so the slabs holding the membrane needed to be moved, and water and bog plants placed in and around the pond. This job generated much entertainment, when Angela fell in and got rather wet (see picture). We also dug over the raised bank, mixed it with compost and planted a variety of wildflowers including yarrow, ladies bedstraw, cowslip and knapweed; and also dug out a border around the edges and planted lots of lavender. There is a bank around the back in which the school want to plant lots of fruit trees, so we cleared the area of the top layer of turf which was put around the edges of the pond, and the cleared space will be dug over and mixed with compost prior to planting.

Carrie’s Nature Lesson

There is already some white yarrow (Achillea millefolium) growing round the pond from the last planting, which is a very versatile and interesting herb. It flowers from June to August with pollination by insects, and the seeds ripen from July to September. It is a perennially flowering plant related to chamomile, and has been highly prized by traditional healers over centuries for its wide range of medicinal properties, particularly its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory actions. It has been used to combat everything from infections and wounds, to digestive disorders and arthritis. It is believed the plant was named after Achilles and according to legend, he used it to help heal the injuries of wounded Greek soldiers and prevent haemorrhaging. The plant is renowned for its effectiveness at speeding the recovery time of wounds, which is thought to be a result of its ability to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of infection.
Thanks to Carrie for the text and phoographs.

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