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in The potting shed
A junior school where a member of my family is deputy head has a designated area to design a garden and grow plants. It was set up as part of the Queens Diamond Jubilee but all their efforts to get packets of seeds from the big companies such as Suttons etc to help them has been unsuccessful to say the least. Any suggestions to help them? The kids want to make it happen but they need a lot of help. Thank you
Try the local garden centres, and try to get some interest from local newspaper - firms love press coverage and you might be able to get one of them to support the project with more than just the seeds if you use their logo in newsletters etc about the garden and perhaps put up a sign saying " ---- school garden thank ------ garden centre for their support". B&Q have a really good reputation for supporting community things and may well help with building products as well as plants and no matter what local councils say about austerity, they can often still make discretionary small disbursement. If there are a couple of local firms selling to (or employing) a proportion of the parents, they are fair game to approach also. Good luck!
Thanks Sara, good advice
Morrisons run a 'Lets Grow' scheme for schools. Google their website and you should find all the details.
If you have a limited budget, then look for offers such as the one in May's magazine for lavender plug plants. Woman's weekly has an offer on for 'free' penstemons, 24 plug plants for £4.30 postage, was a similar offer in GW for lavender.
Dobbies garden centre have a schools programme, where you can apply for funding for various items, the RHS website also has a section dedicated to schools gardening, there will be some useful links there. Can you get some funding from the Healthy Schools programme for a fruit & veg area? Children are more likely to eat something, even sprouts, if they have had a hand in growing them, so there may be funding there. Might be worth googling 'free seeds' as some places offer free seeds, had some tomato seeds last year from Dolmio, and have had some parsley seeds this year from the Real Burger company. See if the school can invest in something like 'Kitchen Garden' magazine, there is always at least one pack of seeds with the mag, usually two, and have had up to four.
A letter to parents for seedlings, old but useable tools, pots, spare seeds etc may turn up some treasures. Bit late in the year now, but an appeal to your local allotment society or horticultural society may give you some seedlings or useful plants. If working with very small children, check and double check that you don't plant anything poisonous - the RHS website should give a list of poisonous stuff, and if appealing to parents (and grandparents), give a list of what you DON'T want, otherwise you'll get things donated that can do a fair bit of damage.
Hope that gives some other avenues you can look at for a start, once you start looking, you will be amazed at what crops up.
Get in touch with the RHS which has a very active and successful programme of helping schools set up gardens and include them in their curriculum. They give teachers advice and support throughout the whole process - http://www.rhs.org.uk/Children/For-schools