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Home and Gardens

Published on November 28th, 2012 | by The Town Crier


Green Genes Don’t Just Grow on Trees…!

As a doting father and helpless gardening addict it would be highly unnatural for me not to want at least one of my little Wildlets to have more than a passing interest in plants and gardens. Obviously, it would be more financially prudent to focus their attention on golf or football but I was rather hoping that the ‘green gene’ might appear spontaneously without too much prompting from me. At the moment though, I have to report they appear more intent on emulating Wayne Rooney than Alan Titchmarsh – quite an alarming prospect for their grandparents!   

Salvation may be on the horizon though, because there is currently a national crusade to get kids more involved in gardening and the great outdoors being pioneered by the Royal Horticultural Society and involving every school in the country. Given the unpopularity of bankers and politicians, it is gratifying as a parent to see the next generation being sown the inspiration for either a future in the horticulturural industry or simply a healthy outlet for their energies out in their own gardens. Most schools have now taken advantage of the grants available to assist in teaching kids how to ‘grow their own’ and have come up with some fantastic plots where everyone can get stuck in and get their hands dirty – a bit like being a banker really!

On the back of this a whole new horticultural industry has emerged with garden centres bedecked with a cornucopia of brightly coloured mini tools, wheelbarrows, watering cans, clothing, special children’s mixes of seeds, countless books, DVD’s and no doubt (I’ve not checked!) an App or two on how to become self-sufficient with mange touts in a hanging basket! Unfortunately I’ve yet to see any of these enticements lead to any potential signs of horticultural interest from my boys. Worse still, a painful encounter with a bee has recently put the kybosh on Olly’s interest in pollination – for the time being at least!

Giant sunflowers, pumpkins, rude carrots (don’t ask!), longest worm and hairiest spider competitions have all been tried with a modicum of interest, but to date their greatest excitement has been seeing a healthy bonfire and finding ‘stuff’ to keep it going. The problem with all this is the inordinate amount of parental supervision required and their inability to differentiate between dead plants and those happily minding their own business while flowering their heads off! I don’t know about green genes but certainly the smoke gene appears to have made the generational shift – as my parents would testify, their garden was the site of many a dramatic conflagration (even involving the fire brigade, but that’s another story!).

Although I am clearly raising a couple of pyromaniacs, at least it gets them outside and the patron saint of bonfires, Guy Fawkes Esq, gives Wayne Rooney a bit of healthy competition on the role model front!


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