Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful event at the Roof Gardens in Kensington. It was a spring bulb planting workshop organised by the Flower Council of Holland for two local schools.
The aim of the event was to educate children on the positive influences flowering bulbs can bring to their lives. And I definitely think it did the trick…there was an air of excitement throughout the morning and so much enthusiasm!
Today’s blog post features photos of pupils from Barlby Primary School. Each child had brought along a terracotta pot which they’d decorated at school.
Firstly, Chris half-filled his pot with compost and then carefully eased the bulbs out of their plastic containers, and teased the roots, before arranging them in the pot. He then topped up the container with compost and pushed it down gently.
The children were so attentive, beautifully behaved and totally engrossed in Chris’s instructions.
When it was their turn, Head Gardener at the Roof Gardens, David Lewis on the left below, and Chris were on hand to help.
Then it was judging time and the children all sat proudly by their pots waiting for the results. Chris awarded first, second and third prizes for the best decorated/potted displays.
And here are some very cute children who happily posed for a photo, without being asked. I had my camera shooting away generally and they just stopped in front of me and looked up and smiled…I couldn’t resist capturing them.
At the workshop, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacqueline Doornekamp from the Flower Council of Holland. The aim of the council is to promote flowers, plants and bulbs, showing how they can be a rich source of happiness for people.
At the workshop, they hoped to show the children how easy it is for them to add flowering bulbs to their outdoor space and how much enjoyment they can get in watching them bloom.
Jacqueline said that it was interesting to note that children enjoy plants when they’re young and playing in their garden. Then when they’re growing up, they may not pay a great deal of attention to horticulture.
However, generally, by the age of thirty, people go back to flowers and plants. There’s a need to get ‘green’ back into their lives, be it that they have a garden, are decorating their home with houseplants or are buying cut flowers.
She said that at times like these, when the economy is struggling, that it’s even more important to invest in flowers for your home. And instead of buying them every week, you could buy them every fortnight.
I personally know that since writing Flowerona, I’ve bought cut flowers more often and love the feeling they give to a room…and it’s really noticeable when they’re not there.
Do have a look at the Flower Council’s lovely website Funny how flowers do that, where you can find care tips and information about the top ten flowers.
I was also fortunate to have a 1:1 with Chris. He’s been working with children for nearly nine years and ‘sowing the seed’ about the rewards of gardening.
Since 2004, he’s been the BBC Blue Peter gardener. And the next day, he was in Salford with Princess Anne when she opened the Blue Peter garden. You can follow the whole story of how he moved the garden from London to Salford on BBC iPlayer. It starts approximately seven minutes into the programme.
Chris feels that it’s fundamental to be with nature and he’s fronted and run the RHS Campaign for School Gardening that gives over one million UK children access to school gardens.
And he’s recently written a book for children with Lia Leendertz called ‘RHS Grow Your Own for Kids: How to be a Great Gardener‘. The aim of the book is to show children everything they need to know to get the gardening bug.
I can honestly say that I was quite overcome by the wonderful atmosphere at the workshop…such a feeling of happiness, which is exactly what the Flower Council of Holland had hoped to achieve. And I came away from the event on such a high…
Planting up spring bulbs is such a simple, cost-effective way of bringing colour into your garden or onto your balcony, patio or windowsill. So, perhaps, it’s something you’d like to do next weekend…
(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)