CBBC Blue Peter presenter and gardening expert, Lee Connelly (AKA The Skinny Jean Gardener), will be visiting Ashmount Primary School in Islington and Old Ford Primary School in Tower Hamlets on Thursday 12th March as part of a nationwide school tour to encourage kids to start gardening at home and school.
Reaching 10,000 kids nationwide, the tour is sponsored by family-favourite M&S Food who this month launched its new COLLECTABLE CRAZE, Little Garden. The in-store campaign aims to get parents and kids growing plants and vegetables with free seedling kits for shoppers spending £20 or more on M&S food. Collect all 12 to complete the set!
M&S partnered with Lee to launch Little Garden to help guide families with growing and taking care of their plants. Lee is passionate about gardening with kids and is best known for his work as the CBBC Blue Peter Gardener.
Research shows an alarming number of young kids have a disconnect with where their food comes from and how it’s grown, 5% think strawberries grow inside a fridge and 9% believe carrots grow on bushes**. Lee and M&S aim to myth bust common misconceptions around growing flowers, vegetables and plants, in the hopes to get more than 10,000 children sowing and growing their own seeds in his nationwide school tour.
Pupils at Ashmount Primary School and Old Ford Primary School will be given Little Garden seedlings and, through helpful step-by-step advice from Lee, will sow the seeds during the assembly and be encouraged to nurture their plants at home. Lee will help the kids understand how to care for the plants with their families and most importantly, get them excited about gardening! In the assembly, Lee will work with the kids and the school to start allotments for everyone to enjoy. To ensure the allotments flourish, Lee will provide regular videos to the schools throughout the upcoming months with top gardening tips.
CBBC Presenter Lee Connelly, the Skinny Jean Gardener, said: “I can’t wait to visit Ashmount Primary School and Old Ford Primary School and talk to school children about the importance of gardening, and that you don’t need to have lots of outdoors space to be able to enjoy it. In fact, anyone with a sunny spot indoors can get involved. We’ll be getting stuck in and planting M&S Little Garden pots for each child to nurture at home, ready to bring back when it’s warmer to create a school garden. I hope they find it as rewarding as me when plants burst into flowers for the first time, or see their vegetables or herbs appear. So, let’s get growing!”
Simon Lucas, M&S Head of Region for Central London said: “We’re so excited about our family-friendly Little Garden collectable campaign, engaging kids so they can learn more about how food grows. Our sponsorship of Lee’s school tour in London means over 1,000 kids will get the chance to pot up their very own Little Garden seedlings as of Lee’s high energy and fun learning sessions.”
There are 12 different varieties of well-known vegetables, flowers or herbs in the Little Garden complimentary seedling kits. Shoppers won’t know which seedling they’ve got until they open it at home, so you could find yourself with a carrot, pepper, pansy, viola, radish, beetroot, chilli pepper or forget-me-not – just to mention a few!
Each contains a biodegradable pot, soil tablet and seed mat, all you need in addition is a saucer or dish to stand your pot on, some water and some sunlight and away you go. From 29th March the Little Garden accessories become available, including a colourful miniature tool set and watering can for just £3 each, ideal for little hands to get hold of and use (aged 3+).