As Chairman of the Royal Windsor Rose and Horticultural Society, a charity with 120 year pedigree and Her Majesty The Queen as Patron, I think a lot about our purpose. Our world is full of worthy causes and the plight of many is so desperate that one has to question how we can persuade any benefactor to support our horticultural society at all.
Well last week our purpose came to life. Let me explain; in our constitution it states that we are to “further education through the promotion of knowledge of the science of horticulture in our community” and traditionally we deliver this through our Summer Show (18th July, Windsor Castle, all admitted) and the various visits and events we hold throughout the year.
But last week something amazing happened. Orchestrated by Susann Laughton, the Society’s Honorary Secretary, the face of Windsor was transformed. Through careful planning and coordination 4 diverse and unconnected parts of our community worked together and by fulfilling their own purposes improved our community.
Let me explain.
The local council have for a number of years wanted to re-fill and plant up 8 abandoned and unloved street planters on St Leonards Road in Windsor. Their problem in this age of austerity was resource and finance…the coffers for this sort of thing are empty.
The local primary schools all have planting, growing and community on their curriculum and need projects that covers these areas. Making this interesting over and above the rather old fashioned blotting paper and water cress classroom lesson is difficult.
The Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) have a level 3 Horticulture module which requires students to do a project that includes design, landscaping and planting and also a module that requires team work and community. Designing this in an interesting way to keep 17 year old students engaged is a challenge.
The local shop keepers want their end of Windsor to be upgraded to tempt the shoppers of Peascod Street to venture further and spend more. But they have had to look out on these weed infested planters for years with little ability to change it.
So on Monday last week 7 students from BCA, 6 schools from Windsor, a cohort of adjacent shop keepers and Paul Roach from the Local Council were orchestrated by The Royal Windsor Rose and Horticultural Society to ‘Adopt a Pot’.
Two local businesses, Window Flowers and Plantify, supplied the flowers and plants in a colour scheme reflecting this weekends Magna Carta celebrations and the Virtuous Circle turned.
The out come…smiling teachers, smiling students, smiling councillors, smiling shop keepers and smiling shoppers. All remits fulfilled…no money required! And The Society’s Purpose delivered.
We may not be solving the worlds Big problems…but we are getting our community smiling and that can’t be all bad! Anyone fancy donating?