Budding Young Gardeners at Hougang Primary

Nine-year-old Syahirah’s first foray into gardening started out with growing green beans in a plastic cup. Her budding interest has slowly blossomed into a full-fledged passion for gardening, shared by her schoolmates in Hougang Primary School. Sudarshan, another member of the school’s gardening club, enjoys nurturing flowering plants. “I get excited when the flowers bloom in the garden. They’re so colourful!” he exclaims.

These young gardeners help to manage the school’s garden, which took a Platinum award in the 2010 Community in Bloom (CIB) awards. Their activities include propagating new specimens from existing plants and plotting individual crops – tasks which require a level of skill and patience beyond their years. 

Little Hands, Green Thumbs

Community gardens in housing estates also provide opportunities for kids to get involved. Kalinda, aged nine, (above, with pink backpack) manages a small plot in the Tampines Starlight Harmony Garden. There, she cultivates a variety of plants, including lady’s fingers, chilli and ginger.

Kalinda loves to share her love for gardening. “Sometimes my friends come over to help me out,” she says. “They help to pluck the weeds and remove the dry leaves around my plot”.

For more information on how you can get involved in community gardening, contact your RC or visit the Community In Bloom website by clicking on the logo below.

To learn more about their activities, I accompanied the gardening club members on one of their gardening sessions.  I followed the students’ chatter along the stony pathway of the garden, as they scampered ahead, and was greeted with a potpourri of flora in striking hues of green, red and yellow.

The students’ efforts were very impressive, especially to a gardening novice like me – coming from gardeners less than half my age, no less! I became their student for the day, and boy, did I learn a thing or two. They showed me how to transplant Begonias, snipping the Begonia leaves before carefully placing them into a separate pot. They also educated me, very gravely, on how to care for these plants.  “You need to loosen the soil, and cannot water them too much,” Sudarshan advised.

This constant exposure to the garden and its components also gives its gardeners a unique hands-on knowledge about the life sciences. In this outdoor classroom, the students can experience nature’s processes first-hand. “I get to witness how decomposition occurs, like in the pictures in my textbook,” said Yao Wei, another avid student gardener.

And throughout the afternoon, the student gardeners were consistently in high spirits. They were sweating profusely under the hot afternoon sun, but remained gleeful throughout. This was definitely not the reaction I expected from children engaged in manual labour with their hands covered in dirt. 

These children’s passion for their garden left me feeling inspired, and even somewhat humbled. If nine-year-olds can cultivate the patience and know-how to make their plants flourish, the rest of us clearly have no excuse for not even trying. 

By Adam Rahman

The young members of the gardening club are well-equipped with the skills needed for tending to their flourishing garden

Mr Mohan, the teacher-in-charge of the gardening club, helps the students of Hougang Primary School to cultivate a love for gardening.

A winding path beckons you invitingly into the lush garden at Hougang Primary School.

Students and teachers also make use of the garden as an outdoor classroom. Here, a group of students finds inspiration in the garden during their art and craft lesson.

Total Comments: 2

Germaine 11/15/2010 6:16:20 PM

Hi Harold, thanks for your kind remarks. FYI, I've moved your URL to the 'url' field of your comment.

harold 11/13/2010 7:42:00 PM

It's heartening to note that we are imbibing the love for gardening within school-going children. This will leave a "seed" and nurture the love for nature and green from a young age. Keep up the great work! harold
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