woensdag 13 juni 2012

Botanical Garden

A botanical garden is a controlled and staffed institution for the maintenance of a living collection of plants under scientific management for purposes of education and research, together with such libraries, herbaria, laboratories, and museums as are essential to its particular undertakings. Each botanical garden naturally develops its own special fields of interests depending on its personnel, location, extent, available funds, and the terms of its charter. It may include greenhouses, test grounds, an herbarium, an arboretum, and other departments. It maintains a scientific as well as a plant-growing staff, and publication is one of its major modes of expression. - Wikipedia
We have two botanical gardens at our school of which we are very proud. When I came to work at my school, we had nothing. It was just two green areas, nothing was done with it. A former colleague started working on both areas and started our lovely botanical gardens. Both are used for lessons in biology. It is lovely to go outside with the kids and do something with nature. Be outside, look at the plants, look at the animals, because these are all city kids. They have absolutely no experience. They scream at the sight of a bumble bee and think is it a stinging bee for example.

This is thebotanical garden at our main building



It has areas to create some ecological features/areas such as forestry and sand areas. They were created to teach students about ecosystems. It also has a tiny pond in which for about three years now we had gelatinous egg masses put down by frogs! It is fun to see the tiny tadpoles grow up. Unfortunately, we had a grey heron (Ardea cinerea) visiting the pond and eating most of the tiny frogs this year. My students are always amazed as they watch the common pond skater (Gerris lacustris), and are in awe that it can walk on water. There are also lots of black tailed skimmer dragonflies (Orthetrum cancellatum) humming above the pond and last time I went out with a class, the kids were shocked to find out how dragonflies have intercourse.


At the other building we have a botanical garden in which not ecology is the most important thing, but letting students plant seeds and learning to take care of the garden.


It is in full bloom and it is such a marvellous sight. And the funny thing is, they did not do a thing with the garden this year! A good example of letting nature take its course. I went down to look at all these marvelous flowers. The following pictures are a quick look at the different flowers.


Two different types of cornflower (Centaurea cyanus). It is said if a young man wears a cornflower that fades too quickly, his love will fade quickly as well.






Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla ), which smells just lovely...


Violets (Viola Tricolor), I just love the colours! They come back every year if they survive.







Three different types of poppies (Papaver somniferum). I was surprised to see these three different colours all together in the garden. I only knew the red type of poppy. Poppies mostly have been associated with death, sleep and peace throughout history. Mostly because of the opium poppy and its intoxicating effect, but nowadays there is an annual Remembrance day in the UK (november 11th), and on these days (yes multiple) people in the UK wear a poppy on the breast. Watch the BBC in November!


Bright yellow flower, I have absolutely no idea what kind. But I love that you can see the tiny raindrops on the leaves. Yes, there was a bit of a drizzle when I took pictures, you clearly do not need sunshine to get beautiful snapshots!


And I just love love love this picture. A butt of a bumblebee. He just would not sit still. Can you blame him with the enormous amount of snacks in this lovely garden?

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