Why is gardening so important for kids?
Discover how David Domoney discovered the importance of gardening as a child, and what he’s doing to help others discover gardening’s value as an adult!
How did David Domoney discover the importance of gardening?
I’ve loved gardening since I could first hold a trowel. And when I wasn’t playing in the garden, I was working in it with my brother and sister. Both my parents were keen gardeners, and we earned our pocket money by helping out.
As kids, we were lucky enough to have a decent sized garden with a big lawn. And each of us had our own border to grow. In fact, I used to buy plants from the church fete for mine. I was already supporting my local community without knowing it!
Back then, one of my favourites was plants was Berginia Elephant-Ear. Because the foliage is unique and rubbery. Plus, as the name suggests, the leaves look just like green elephant’s ears! These are pleasure for multiple senses! Plus, they flower in spring and they’re as hard as nails.
Another was Stachys, which, because of its soft, fluffy foliage, has earned the nickname Lamb’s Ears. It’s a ground-covering perennial and has leaves that last into autumn or winter. However, the plant isn’t technically an evergreen.
I loved tactile plants like this, in fact, I still do! And I’d walk around the garden appreciating the textures, marvelling at the colours and enjoying the fragrances. That’s how I started growing things.
How is David Domoney spreading awareness of the importance of gardening for kids?
From school, I went straight to horticultural college.
But I was lucky. I believe every child across Britain should have access to a garden. Sadly, this just isn’t a reality, right now. And that’s why I’m a passionate supporter of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Campaign for School Gardens.
The campaign encourages schools to get children growing. And it demonstrates how gardening can teach valuable life skills, contribute to good physical and mental health. Plus, it helps kids grow into adults that care about the environment, and are, therefore, passionate about protecting it.
And let me tell you, there’s nothing like seeing the faces of children light up as they get gardening. The process of sowing, growing, and harvesting fruit and veg is like magic to them. It’s also magical to watch. And it certainly brings me peace knowing that our future generations are keen to swap out their phones and game consoles for a trowel or spade, too.
Here we are, getting our hands dirty at an RHS school garden in Cardiff. So far, over 18,500 schools have signed up to the campaign. But there are still around 12,000 to go. So, if you’re a teacher, get online here for advice, resources, and a free starter pack full of information.
I have also set up the School’s category of my Cultivation Street campaign. The aim of this is to recognise and reward schools that have encouraged their pupils to get gardening.
Do you want to enter your school garden into our competition to win £2000 of National Garden Gift Vouchers? Order your free starter pack now!
And finally, if you’re interested in working in horticulture, check out growcareers.co.uk. It’s a great initiative set up by the horticultural industry to help attract new talent. Plus, you’ll find tons of information and advice about finding your feet – and a job. Best of luck!
Join our campaigns and let’s get children gardening!
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