Gardening shouldn't be a bore or a chore, though it sometimes feels like this - when we've got a hundred other things to do, or when it's so cold your feet are freezing inside, or it's all a bit damp and wet out there. But a bit like Mr Happy encouraging you to smile (just try turning your mouth up at the corners) I want to encourage you to take some children out for a little bit of digging (just try turning some soil over in the corners). A few minutes digging and you won't want to stop, it's infectious.
Most children would rather be out, and with a pair of wellies, a warm coat and a spade they'll be your champion diggers for as long as they're allowed to stay out. And you might just find that you don't notice the cold, that there is an immense satisfaction in seeing your veg beds nicely turned over, that you and the children are so engaged with the activity that you don't notice the bell. You might discover that you can talk about your garden and your plans all day, but that the real rewards come through doing.
Many schools have been concerned that they haven't been out to their gardens since late autumn. Don't panic. Even if you didn't plant garlic, onions or broad beans in the autumn, all is not lost - they can be planted when you get back after this February half term and will soon make up time. Click here to see what to do in the garden when you get back.
As the ‘grow your own' movement gets ever bigger, it is interesting to consider the parallels with Dig for Victory during the second world war. Jane Perrone has been doing just this. Have a look at the Dig for Victory film from the Imperial War Museum.
It's a great guide to digging and soil preparation, even if you're not linking your gardening to this history topic. See if you can spot the garden location that the RHS do not recommend for schools!