Great little gardening boom hits show
The IoS's campaign blossoms at the Hampton Court Flower Show
Sunday 12 July 2009
Thousands of little fingers turned green at this year's Hampton Court Flower Show after the organisers let children in free for the first time. The move was aimed at shaking up gardening's fusty image and encouraging a young generation of gardeners to get planting, something the
IoS has been doing all summer with our Let Children Grow gardening campaign.
Almost 5,000 children visited the show last year, and this year that number is expected to rise dramatically, thanks to a child-friendly programme of events from making musical instruments out of vegetables to a competition to build a Tudor scarecrow.
If children learn from at an early age where their food comes from, they may be keener on learning how to cook it, and be turned off junk food.
The IoS made its first appearance at the show with a stand dedicated to spreading the message of our campaign to get kids digging in the soil, not just the sandpit. Children from Ibstock Place Primary School in Roehampton, south-west London, lent us a hand, providing entertainment to other show-goers. Nicky McDougal, a teacher at the school, said: "It was absolutely brilliant. The children had a great time having their picture taken. We've planted so many fruit and vegetables within the gardens at the school, and have been eating our own produce."
IoS staff manned the stand and distributed thousands of packs of seeds, provided by the National Trust, and seed calendars, to parents and teachers. Food Glorious Food is a National Trust campaign to inspire people to grow their own food. More than 170 million free seeds – and advice – will be given away at Trust properties until October. Those wishing to participate are being invited to log on to foodgloriousfood.org.uk.
More than 1,000 schools have now signed up to the Let Children Grow scheme, run in conjunction with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). More than 200,000 pupils around the country are now benefiting from growing fruit and vegetables.
Yesterday there were a number of talks in the Cookery Theatre designed to show children what to do at the next stage after they have harvested their crops. Kids in the Kitchen and Getting Children Started in the Garden showed them what could be done at home.
Other attractions for kids included the chance to feed a venus fly trap, and garden trails. Sustainability gardens were also introduced for the first time this year in a bid to inspire visitors who are looking for ways to be truly green.
Mandy Almond, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show RHS manager, said: "Getting children gardening, being outdoors, discovering nature and learning is core to the RHS and this action packed event provides fun and inspiration for all the family."
There are 600 exhibitors at the show, which include gardens, nurseries, floral arrangement and floristry and vegetable growers and trade stands.
Life & Style blogs
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: The Jenrick Group: Finance Manager/Manag...
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a rare opportunity for ...