Available Now
MetroKids
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Edit Module
Apr 22, 2014
09:10 AM
MK Memo

The Shipley School Sprouts

The Shipley School Sprouts

Shipley students Spenser Strauss and Marcie McLaughlin and their Miniature Landscape Garden entry, "A Cabin in the Woods,” which took 3rd place at the Philadelphia Garden Show

It’s Earth Day! In recognition, we’re taking a quick look at the Sprouts Horticulture Club at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA.

A 40-year-old club at the 120-year-old private school, the Sprouts have shown at the Philadelphia Garden Show for nearly 30 years, to great success. This past March, the Sprouts won an impressive 90 ribbons at the show, including 20 blue ribbons and one Best in Show in the Horticultural class, for J.R. Cruise and Porter Durham's miniature landscape garden "A Sink of Dirty Dishes" (at right).

Only upper level students (9th-12th grades) can join Sprouts, due to its extensive time commitment. The club meets once a week during the school year at an on-site greenhouse under the direction of advisors Leslie Labess and Michelle Cruise, who teach the students the fundamentals of plant culture and design.

Students learn how to force flower bulbs, the correct Latin terminology for plants and how to groom pots. They are also given creative license to design and construct their own themed miniature landscapes, which are then entered into the Philadelphia Flower Show, allowing the students to compete against seasoned and experienced gardeners. 

“The Philadelphia Flower Show is a learning experience for the students," says Labess. "They learn the importance of precision and how to make their displays look perfect.”

Junior Florence Murabito created an Emerald City-themed miniature landscape, complete with a yellow brick road, and liked the fact that she was able to design it herself. “Next year the theme for the miniature landscapes is movies, so over the summer I’m going to keep my landscape alive to reenter it,” she says.

In addition to participating in the Flower Show, Sprouts also holds an annual fundraiser where the students sell flowers and plants. “The goal of the fundraiser isn’t only to raise money but also to raise consciousness about the program and to teach people about horticulture,” says Labess. To that end, the students encourage people to ask questions about the flowers and plants sold at the fundraiser, which also incorporates workshops on creating your own container to grow a plant or create a landscape.

So what Earth Day advice do Sprouts participants have for kids who might be interested in horticulture? Florence urges others to have fun with it and to not be afraid to garden or plant something. Labess says that gardening helps young people understand that they can’t control everything — the weather will change and plants will die despite their best efforts. However, she believes, gardening does teach students "a sense of responsibility" that helps them prepare for their future.

Tessa Seales is a MetroKids intern and an English major at Drexel University.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Advertisement

Edit ModuleShow Tags

MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
How to Raise an Earth-Conscious Child

How to Raise an Earth-Conscious Child

Tips to teach kids how to protect the environment.

Comments

DIY Redecorating in Vintage or Rustic Style

DIY Redecorating in Vintage or Rustic Style

Get some tips on redecorating your home with a vintage or rustic style.

Comments

The 2016 Kids Corner Music Festival

The 2016 Kids Corner Music Festival

The best of kindie music comes to World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on April 3.

Comments

How Loud Is Too Loud?

How Loud Is Too Loud?

Learn about the dangers of using headphones at too high a volume and how to prevent your child from suffering hearing loss.

Comments

The Science Behind Pixar at the Franklin Institute

The Science Behind Pixar at the Franklin Institute

Get a behind-the-scenes look at family-favorite movies at the Franklin Institute's newest exhibit.

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags

MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Make a Healthy Dairy-Free Smoothie

Make a Healthy Dairy-Free Smoothie

How to prepare a quick, delicious smoothie that doesn't have dairy or added sugar

Comments

Why You Should Volunteer at Your Kids' School

Why You Should Volunteer at Your Kids' School

The many benefits you and your child reap when you volunteer at school.

Comments

The Beginner's Guide to Guardianship

The Beginner's Guide to Guardianship

Find out how the guardianship process works and why it's an important topic to tackle for parents whose child may not be able to care for himself or herself independently as an adult.

Comments

{/if}