Whatever the Weather!

23 October 2013


Last Friday, we had the pleasure of visiting Hyde Park to make our mark on London by planting the long-awaited display of daffodils along the Serpentine.

The Isis Education Centre was kind enough to give us one of their ‘exploring autumn’ courses, regardless of the cold winter breezes and drizzle. We were all determined to fight the rain the dark clouds had brought with them and enjoy ourselves!

While the juniors took the first session to plant daffodils, my form (the Sparrows) tested our teamwork abilities with scavenger hunts: colour coding leaves to take on the challenge of creating a daffodil with the park as our only resource (thank God for the autumn selection); and creating wristbands from natural resources!  One of the most creative takes on nature was most definitely the staffs' homemade tree-classifying wheels, in which everyone enjoyed taking leaf and bark markings. We heard endless facts about how vital even the smallest acorns were to squirrels, how vital the spikes surrounding some seeds were to their trees, how essential trees were to the park's ecosystem. When all was said and done, all of us were so engrossed in our actions you could barely notice the British showers!

However, after the refreshing and entertaining start to our day at Hyde Park, we moved on from the creative session and went towards the Serpentine. Before we began planting, we were briefed about what we had to do and how the daffodils are supposed to be planted. Then the two year nine forms (the Blackbirds and the Sparrows) split up into groups and began planting. Each section that had been dug up around the Serpentine had a wheelbarrow that contained gloves and tools to help us plant.

Girls planting daffodil bulbsOnce we had started planting we found out just how fun and grounding it was. Everybody felt highly positive and we all enjoyed ourselves thoroughly despite the cold and wet weather. During the time that we were planting we discovered that there are various ways in which one can garden, for example you may dig a long strip of ground and plant many daffodils into the trench after it had been formed (this way tends to be quicker and more efficient) but you may also plant each bulb individually. After the time we had spent planting was over we all felt pleased to have been able to give something back to the community and the park that we enjoyed spending time in so much.

Once we had finished our lunch, the sparrows and blackbirds split up and took residence in the two classrooms. For the rest of the afternoon we spent a majority of our time learning about the fascinating science that is an important factor of nature. We spent some time going over the different parts inside of a flower, such as a stigma. Another aspect of nature that we learnt about was the different ways that plants spread their seeds. The methods of transporting a plant seed are via animals, using the breeze, water, and the plant scattering the seeds in an explosive manner. Then, as the weather had coincidently improved, we went in groups of three into the garden surrounding the classroom and classified different plants due to their methods of dispersing their seeds. Afterwards, we created plant pots out of newspaper and planted our final daffodil bulb, although this one we were able to take home.

Throughout our time at Hyde Park, we continuously enjoyed ourselves and discovered an affinity towards nature that we had never felt before. The fact that we had helped the park and therefore had given something to the community made us feel content and proud. We also heard how a special school for the deaf and city primary schools had also had the wonderful opportunity to come to the Centre to plant and learn. They also loved their day.  Also, the feeling we found when we were planting has inspired me and my friends to garden a lot more and we feel that more people should use some of their time tGiovanna and Sarah   year 9 students from the Francis Holland School  Sloane Squareo give something back to nature. We hope that the daffodils grow successfully and that you will see them when you visit Hyde Park next year.

Giovanna and Sarah (Year 9 students from the Francis Holland School)

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