Bulbs to brighten up the Serpentine

24 October 2013


Eugenie stands by the Isis statue at the Isis Education Centre at The LookOutPlanting daffodil bulbs to cheer up the banks of the Serpentine in Hyde Park and raise money for the Isis Education Centre at The LookOut, was our task last Wednesday, 16th October. Years 1-5 and Year 9 from Francis Holland School, Sloane Square went to Hyde Park to plant daffodil bulbs. I am Eugenie in Year 9 and I am going to tell you about my day.

The day started off at the Isis Education Centre in the middle of the 350 acres of Hyde Park. The building there, hidden in a clump of trees, is called Isis Education Centre at The LookOut. First, we met Katy who took us to do some creative work, some games and some tree identifying.

The sky turned grey and there was a little drizzle but we didn’t mind. The first exercise was a trust exercise. Your partner was blindfolded and you had to make them dizzy and lead them to a tree. Then they had to feel the tree before you led them away and removed their blindfold. Now, they had to look around and guess which tree they had been taken to. It was really enjoyable, but few of us guessed the right tree.

The second exercise involved identifying trees by doing a bark rubbing. You take a piece of paper and a crayon and simply put the piece of paper on the bark of a tree and rub over it with the crayon. We also collected a leaf off the ground from the same tree and using a tree identifying key we worked out what the tree was. In the end I found out that my tree was a Sweet Chestnut.

After this we created a bracelet using things we found on the ground. During this activity the rain started to get a little heavier and my toes were starting to feel cold, but we all carried on. Katy told us about evergreen trees (ones that do not shed their leaves) and deciduous trees (ones that lose their leaves in winter). We learnt that deciduous trees lose their leaves because there is not much sunlight for photosynthesis and they don’t want to waste energy carrying on life processes and also the leaves could be damaged in the freezing conditions. They have stored enough glucose for them to last the winter, so they become dormant. After this we were split into groups to make some sort of artwork to make a mini gallery. Lots of groups did amazing pieces. My group made a big pile of leaves in commemoration of the trees losing their leaves.

Girls get stuck in planting daffodilsWe then walked across to where we would be planting the daffodil bulbs but first we had a little break and a snack to keep up our energy. It was miserable weather and the rain was getting quite heavy. After our snack we were given a brief talk about how to plant the bulbs. Then we put on our gloves and got a trowel each. I only had one hand because 2 weeks before I broke my snuff bone and my arm was in a sling. We all started to dig.

The weather was getting colder and the wind was biting our faces. It was a great experience and it was fun to garden because living in London it can be hard to garden and to find a space where you can so it was a great opportunity for all of us. Before we knew, it was time for lunch. By the end of the gardening my knees were very wet, muddy and dirty along with lots of us. It was nice to be inside in the warm because my hands felt like ice cubes. We got inside we were welcomed with some warm hot chocolate, which was just what we needed.

Learning about the life cycle of plants on a smart board in the Isis Education Centre at The LookOut in Hyde ParkAfter lunch we went to a classroom in the Isis Education Centre. Our teacher was Rosie. In this session we learnt lots of new things for example what do plants need to grow, life cycle of a plant. We learnt that the daffodil bulbs flower when the temperature is 10 degrees which is also the temperature bees come out of hibernation so they can pollinate the daffodils. Each year the bulbs that we grow will flower so people can enjoy them year after year. We learnt about seed dispersal to: wind, animals, water, self-dispersal and humans.

At the end of the day we made our own pot out of recycled newspaper and in the pot we put our very own bulb to take home.

All round, I had a great day and learnt a lot. It has really inspired me to do some gardening in my garden!

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