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Urban Gardening Program Material ApprobationTransnational meeting. DAY 2

The second day of the transnational meeting started early and productively – with material approbation sessions. Professor Anta Sparinska from Bulduri School of Horticulture (Jurmala, Latvia) introduced the audience to the questions of plant classification. In nature, there are various plants living together. They make natural ecosystems and support the growth of each other. In contrast, in manmade gardens people should be careful when it comes to selecting plants to grow in the same plant bed. Knowledge of plant classification will help to create healthy environments for the selected plants.

In the first morning lesson the learners understood the meaning of annual, biennial, and perennial plants, and different aspects of sowing and breeding them. Annual plants can live only one year. We must plant them in spring, but they finish their life cycle in autumn. They are renowned for the splendid colours of their blossoms. They must be planted in the middle of March. Biennial plants give their fruit in the second year, in the first year there are only leaves. Gardeners must sow them at the end of July or August. Perennial plants live for more than three years. Their leaves die in winter, but the roots stay alive through the cold time. There are exceptions such as evergreen perennials. Their leaves do not die in the frosty season. These plants are widely used in floristics. Some perennials like peonies live for 20 or even 60 years. You can often find them in abandoned gardens.

The group of 15 people who were lucky to attend the lessons received a lot of information about trees and shrubs, strategies which can help to take care of plant bulbs, creeper plants and evergreen plants.

The second lesson was devoted to the basics of floristry. Aušra Navickiene who represented the Centre of Innovation (Siauliai, Lithuania) informed the participants about various styles of bouquets and their historical origins. The learners had a quiz which helped to associate the photos with styles. Then the learners moved on to the educational video about social projects of beautifying local environments with flowers and the therapeutic effects of this process. The lesson ended with a discussion about the main aims of floristry and its use in daily life.

After lunch the learners and project partners participated in a hands-on workshop conducted by the guest florist. Every participant was expected to learn the fundamentals of creating a spiral bouquet. The workshop leader explained where and how the spiral bouquets are used, their structure and the composition process.

Very soon creativity spread all over the classroom filling new-coming florists with desire to make floristry masterpieces. The workshop leader encouraged the learners and corrected their bouquets with care. She also provided constructive feedback on the outcomes. By the end of the workshop the room was filled with flower aroma and the excited learners radiating joy and the sense of accomplishment.

We asked each learner to fill in the questionnaire about the theoretical sessions and received a positive assessment of materials and lessons in general. We feel pleased that a group of volunteers honoured us with attending the workshops and we thank our teachers for successfully conducting the sessions. We will continue the programme material approbation process tomorrow. Follow us to be informed about the news!



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