Enjoying our Daffodil Planting Days

Gareth Austin and Groarty Primary School during their Daffodil Planting Project.(141012JC2 Photo: Patrick Duddy.)
Gareth Austin and Groarty Primary School during their Daffodil Planting Project.(141012JC2 Photo: Patrick Duddy.)

A daffodil planting project has been launched with youngsters across the city by NWRC, BBC Radio Foyle gardener Gareth Austin and Patrick Duddy, Housing Executive Social Education Officer, and it looks like this year’s project will surpass last year’s achievements with an ambitious target of 10,000 bulbs planted.

The project kicked off on Tuesday, October 9, when Groarty Integrated Primary School pupils donned their wellies with every child from the newly started Primary Ones, to the Primary Sevens in their last year getting involved.

Gareth Austin and Maybrook Adult Learning Centre Daffodil Planters take shelter from the rain in their greenhouse. (141012JC3 Photo: Patrick Duddy.)

Gareth Austin and Maybrook Adult Learning Centre Daffodil Planters take shelter from the rain in their greenhouse. (141012JC3 Photo: Patrick Duddy.)

The children successfully reached their target of 500 bulbs planted – a task made more enjoyable by the autumn sunshine.

The following day the youngsters of Carnhill Nursery School continued the challenge; again blessed with the sun, the youngest made light work of their bulbs and worked their way through their 500 bulbs in next to no time.

Troy College pupils were next up, with Gareth’s Horticultural class showing the skills and expertise they have picked up already this year and completing their first batch of 500 bulbs with minimum fuss.

Thursday saw the run of good weather come to an abrupt stop, although the torrential rain only saw the challenge delayed rather than derailed.

Hope, Maybrook Adult Learning Centre and St Patricks Primary School After School Gardening Club all had to postpone their planting for another day. Maybrooks planters were forced to shelter in their green house after aborting their planned planting day.

Gareth Austin says: “Projects like this are great to be involved in. We were really happy to plant the 8,000 bulbs last year, and it was particularly satisfying in the spring when they were in full bloom. We are definitely aiming for bigger and better this year.”

Patrick Duddy, NIHE Social Education Officer added ‘We have started a bit earlier this year, but as always in this part of the world the weather is going to be a test.

“Half the bulbs are allocated to schools and community groups, but we’d love to hear from any other group looking to join in.”