Growing Green Has Campus in Bloom

As always, visitors to the Shawnigan campus this spring and summer will be greeted with blooms of every colour in gardens and hanging baskets.
There is a twist this year, however, as many of the flowers were grown here at the School by our students. All of the annuals in the gardens and baskets were grown in the Growing Dome, about 3,500 from plugs and 2,500 from seed. Although students have grown vegetables and herbs in the past – and continue to do so – this is the first time they have grown flowers as well, an initiative of Environmental Lead and Horticulturalist Ms. Patricia Hanbidge.
Ms. Hanbidge and the students in the Growing Green 360 built baskets that will be put up around the School next week. They have been transplanting flowers into the gardens as well – on Monday alone the students transplanted about 400 plants in the course of an hour. Nearly all of the students are brand new to gardening and horticulture, so it was an eye-opening experience.
Flowers are also being grown under the dome and in beds for cut flowers that can be used for staff appreciation, in Chapel, and other purposes. Ms. Hanbidge trains florists in one of her many roles outside the School, and thought that would be something we could change this year.
The baskets for the Houses have been specially designed with House colours in mind: deep red for Groves’, pale blue for Strathcona, orange for Renfrew, yellow and red for Samuel, et cetera. Pots for Samuel House were set out late last month to help the students acclimate to the new House, and in preparation for the ribbon cutting ceremonies this Friday.
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.