SCHOOL HOLIDAYS HINDER GARDEN LEARNING

Pupils demonstrate survival techniques on their Chelsea Aquapod plot 

Ranelagh School playground garden       Aquapod in action

  • (Click on image to download high res file) ABOVE LEFT:Artist's impression of the Ranelagh School ‘Learning to Grow' exhibit in the Great Pavilion, where pupils aged 11 to 15 are growing salad crops, spinach, potatoes, carrots, beetroot, broad beans, peas, onions and strawberries, together with dwarf sunflower, Nemophila insignis, cornflower and nasturtiums in raised pallet beds - watered automatically by Hozelock Aquapods connected in series. ABOVE RIGHT:Quick to set up, each Aquapod delivers water accurately to up to five containers.
 

One of the barriers to school gardening projects is the requirement to keep plots and planted containers watered - especially during the school holidays. However, help is at hand from watering specialist, Hozelock who say this hurdle can be overcome in just five minutes by using its Aquapod automatic drip irrigation system. To prove the point, a Berkshire school will be creating an Aquapod-sustained playground garden at this year's Chelsea Flower Show. Hozelock will also be mounting demonstrations on their own Chelsea stand and at other UK gardening shows - and they intend to make subsidised Aquapod systems available to every school in the country..

With Hozelock's help, the system has been used to get an outdoor learning project off the ground at Ranelagh School in Bracknell. Pupils at the school - which was founded exactly 300 years ago by Lord Ranelagh whose London estate would later play host to the Chelsea Flower Show - will recreate their automatically watered 'Learning to Grow' exhibit as part of The Sun's four plot display in the Great Pavilion (Stand No GP C/17).

Project leader Alison Moore hopes that the low-maintenance show garden will encourage many other schools to venture into out-of-classroom learning projects. "The Aquapod system meant that we could leave the children's plants unattended for six weeks in the summer, during which time they flourished," she said. "The pupils - and the teachers - were stunned to see how the plants had thrived during such a long period of neglect and how brilliantly they lit up an otherwise drab tarmacadam playground."

Unlike conventional drip irrigation systems which can take the best part of a day to install, Hozelock's Aquapod system requires no assembly, no pipe cutting, no hole punching and no dripper fitting - and can therefore be quickly set up by children or a teacher. Five mini hoses with pre-fitted drippers on the end can be pulled out individually from each of two pods to deliver water droplets accurately and efficiently to up to ten planted containers - or more if additional pods are connected in series. The included battery-powered AC Plus electronic tap timer can be easily programmed to turn the water on and off once, twice or four times a day throughout the holiday.

The Waterwise-approved system is so efficient that it saves up to 90% of the water used when doing the job by hand and therefore helps children to learn environment-friendly water conservation techniques too.

As part of its 50th anniversary policy of encouraging garden learning projects, Hozelock is offering its Aquapod system at special subsidised educational terms to every school in the country.

Normally £49.99 (RRP), the Aquapod and other water-wise equipment can also be seen on Hozelock's own stand at Chelsea (No. EA71) and at other major gardening shows around the country where the company will be demonstrating the system to teachers and project leaders, as well as the gardening public. The schedule includes:

- Harrogate Flower Show, April 23-26 (Stand No S12)
- Malvern Spring Show, May 7-10 (Row 5)
- Chelsea Flower Show, May 19-23 (Stand No EA71)
- Gardening Scotland, May 29-31 (Stand No to be confirmed)
- BBC Gardeners' World Live, June 10-14 (Stand No G1171)
- Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, July 7-12 (Stand No A65)
- Tatton Park Flower Show, July 22-26 (Stand No A45)

Hozelock will also be demonstrating their new flexible hose connector (from £3.99) for attaching spray guns and other tools to a garden hose. Its extended, mesh collar reinforces the hose to prevent kinking, thus keeping the connection secure and leak-free.

Visitors to Hozelock's show stands will be invited to donate loose change to the Greenfingers Appeal which creates gardens for children's hospices in the UK. The company will double whatever sum is raised.

For more information see the new Hozelock website at www.hozelock.us or call the firm's helpline on 0121 313 1122. To see an online demonstration of the Aquapod system, go to www.hozelock-aquapod.com.

Owners of Hozelock watering, spraying or aquatics equipment can now order all spares and accessories online at www.hozelockservice.com.

END 

April 2009

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