Last Monday 10th March was Commonwealth Day www.commonwealthday.com, held at Westminster Abbey. Among the guests were Janet Corrigan from the Seed Department based here at Wisley, along with our President and Director General, and Her Majesty the Queen. This year’s theme was ‘The Environment – Our Future’ and to support this, our Seed Department was involved in supplying 1000 schoolchildren with four packets each of specially selected seeds.
The seeds, Meconopsis cambrica (Welsh Poppy), Primula Harlow Carr Hybrids (candelabra primulas), Eragrostis curvula (love grass) and a bromeliad Puya mirabilis were hand picked from each of the four RHS Gardens by the RHS Seed Department.
The idea behind this was to highlight the issue of climate change and environmental destruction which cannot be ignored. The RHS seed packets will be a reminder that, while urgent action is needed internationally, there is much that individuals can do, in their local communities and schools, to nurture the environment and recognise the linkages we share around the Commonwealth.
Stuart Mole Director General of the Royal Commonwealth Society which is organised the event said: “This generous gift from the RHS provides young people in particular with an exciting and very practical way of getting involved with the natural world around them. It also reinforces the key message to the Commonwealth that it is time to wake up and face the climate change crisis.”
The RHS Campaign for School Gardening also has a Commonwealth Day lesson plan on the dedicated website – www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening
Our Seed Department collects, cleans and packs seeds from each of the RHS Gardens every year and send around 250,000 packets in response to more than 8000 requests from schools, botanical institutions and RHS members all over the world, including many Commonwealth countries.