Traditionally, the March meeting of the Dawlish Garden Society is dedicated to a Spring Flower Show – but it was a packed agenda as the Annual General Meeting had to be fitted in too. (Unfortunately the planned AGM couldn’t take place in January, due to heavy snowfall.)
So in much more clement weather the very able committee communicated the agenda before an inspirational talk from one of the members. The title of Cliff Curd’s talk was “Planting ‘Growing Kids’ in the Garden” where he delighted the audience with examples of how he engages with local children to get their hands dirty in the soil. He initially started a garden club at a nearby school and an elderly neighbour offered her garden to the club as a growing opportunity, now they work at Cliff’s own garden which is on a hillside and he says “The children keep me on my toes as they are always asking questions”.
Each child has responsibility for a small plot, planting, weeding, watering and growing produce which they then harvest. Beans are popular as there are lots of varieties, however what gets the children excited and competing is cultivating large pots of planted potatoes. Who can grow the biggest becomes the topic of conversation! When the potatoes are harvested, at the end of the growing season, the children get to cook and eat them. Cliff illustrated his talk with photographs of children working their plots and harvesting their produce, obviously enjoying new found skills. In fact, one youngster has subsequently taken up horticulture as a career and is now working on a project at a Children’s Organic Farm.
Afterwards, refreshments were served whilst all members had an opportunity to judge for themselves the entries in the Spring Show with voting papers in hand. There were classes for Daffodils, Tulips, Camellias, Hellebores, flowering shrubs, non flowering shrubs and a Posy from the garden. The photo competition was entitled ” Snow in the Garden”. There was a healthy number of entrants for this seasons show. Points will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place so results will be announced at the April meeting.