Plant Heaven

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Yesterday this fair weather gardener was lucky enough to spend a stunning spring morning at a beautiful plant fair, held in the grounds of the inspirational Rowdeford School, Wiltshire.

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In truth you should never go plant buying on a beautiful day – without fail you will always buy far more than you will ever be capable of planting. And, of course, that’s what happened to us, in the space of about ten minutes. So happily overwhelmed by the wealth of flora in front of us we bought without a thought towards the upkeep of the plant. Why is it I have yet to learn that I really should live by the mantra “Only buy plants that flourish when subjected to total neglect”?

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Gardening doesn’t come naturally to me; in fact it’s become a bit of a life long struggle, tempered by the occasional (very occasional) bout of enthusiasm. With a relatively large garden the upkeep of it often becomes a chore, which usually can only be alleviated by the addition of my iPod and a good audio book (the current one being The Girl on the Train); the better the book the more gardening gets done.

But this plant fair wasn’t just about buying, it was also about helping out an incredible project. Rowdeford School is at the forefront of specialist education and one focus is on outdoor learning.

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The restored Victorian kitchen garden has become a stunning outdoor classroom, putting my rather pathetic attempt at vegetable growing to shame.

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Horticulture was mixed in with art and craft – a plethora of knitted art on display around the grounds.

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We found real life chickens and pigs all looking happy and content. The sheer enthusiasm of the children and the work that they had on display made us feel quite humble.

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So we returned home with renewed gardening vigour and managed to channel that eagerness in to planting up at least half of those over-enthusiastically bought plants…

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