Group advised on generating garden interest

Hillsborough Horticultural Society met recently to consider how members might interest younger people in gardening matters.

The speaker was Mr Andrew White from Tandragee, Vice-Chairman of Portadown Gardening Society.

A Society spokesperson said they received good advice on the matter at hand.

“Andrew White from Tandragee gave an illustrated presentation on how to interest children and grandchildren in plants.

“He stressed the importance of encouraging young children outside into the garden from an early age, where they can get their hands dirtied and really enjoy themselves.

“A magnifying glass will encourage them to look closely at both plants and small insects such as vine weevils and worms.

“The aim should be to instil curiosity into the children – and some science, if they are old enough.

“They need to appreciate that plants are living things and that there is a seasonal pattern to life in a garden.

“And of course the plants cannot grow without energy and water.

“How these elements can be transformed into beautiful flowers or tasty fruit, such as a Bramley apple, is absolutely amazing. They can also learn about the various shapes of leaves and how to recognise different plants.

“Children will understand where their food comes from and appreciate better what is on their dinner plate.

“If we can get young people to understand the life cycle of plants, we are well on the way to interesting them in gardening for life.”

The next meeting of the Hillsborough Horticultural Society will be in Hillsborough Village Centre on 25 March at 8pm when Mr Frank McCooke of Slemish Market garden will speak about ‘Growing Vegetables naturally’.

Everyone is invited.