All the children at Hail Weston Pre-School have the chance to join in with gardening club activities which are run on a weekly basis by RHS Chelsea medal-winning garden designer Dawn Isaac - a local garden designer and author as well as the horticultural consultant to Mr Bloom's Nursery.
There is a small, secure gardening plot at the front of pre-school which the children help sow and plant each year. Don't let size fool you though - we have managed to grow as many as 30 different varieties of fruit and vegetables in this one area alone!
We also run activities in the main hall and playground throughout the year, such as flower arranging, bulb planting and even role playing as market stall traders using produce from the garden. Plus, there is also the excitement of the great potato treasure hunt every harvest time, which sees all the children scrabble to find and count the tubers we have grown in our potato pots that year!
The days we run gardening club are different each week so that children who only attend one or two days at pre-school are still able to take part. We also try to give the children 'take homes' from their activities, wherever possible. In the summer and autumn this may well be some of the fruit and vegetables they have picked themselves - a great way to encourage the children to try new things - or perhaps the seeds they have collected in their homemade packets.
All the children, however young, soon pick up the basics; the importance of the sun and water, the role of the roots, how to 'wake up' seeds and much more. They also learn the basic golden rule: to always wash their hands after gardening.
Most importantly, the children have great fun gardening and love nothing more than seeing their carefully sown and nurtured plants, grow, blossom and fruit.