Friday, 8 August 2014

Growing flowers - QVC Watch Them Grow Kit review (1)

And when the sunflowers they had planted, reached up into the brazenly blue sky beyond, endlessly far away from the children stood rooted beneath them, all with faces upturned, the eldest daughter gasped, her eyes dancing in wonder... 'Can they Mummy? Can they actually reach the land of giants?' 

This review examines not only the scientific delight that can be had in growing flowers from seed, but also hopes to demonstrate the many benefits that 'growing your own' can bring children. Not too mention the importance of being outdoors today. 

QVC approached LIFE AS IT IS a while back with an idea to send me and the GraceFaith girls A watch Them Grow Kit: some soil and seeds and a rather large window box.


For a while we used that box as a water toy. Well the sun was out and it was more fun than that. However, hindsight being what it is, I don't recommend you do this until after you have planted on your seeds, for the plastic lid, stretched under the weight of the water within, and never properly fit on again, which in turn meant some lil' ole nasties crept in and fed feasted upon the young green sweet shoots - which at first had appeared so energetically desperate to say hello... so the story goes...

We set about sowing the seeds.
Carefully placing one seed in each tray.  Remembering which was where.
And watering.
 And watering.

And proudly negotiating where to put the box, to get the most sun.
 And settling on here.
And racing out each morning to look for any changes. 
One week passed. 
And nothing. 
Perhaps the girls had inherited my awkwardness towards growing stuff?
And then we found...






One of the little boxes had spawned some shoots. Oh hurrah and huzzah. Oh maybe they do have fingers that are some sort of fuzzy shade of green after all?
But wait... what's that? A sunflower seed popping up? How exciting!
Not one, not two, nor three, nor four, but lots.
Sunflower seeds galore.

Nothing says summer quite like fresh flowers now does it? Especially those brought to you by the man in your life in the garden, grown by you and your children. 

Alas, during the second week...
The girls and I were really rather saddened to find all our lovely sunflowers cut down in their prime. Munched on before their time. What a way to go. Something or things, had found their way into the box and had enjoyed a picnic in the early hours. Yes, a sloppy seal thanks to our water play. (Oh and how we had been enjoying coming to look every morning to see how our seedlings were getting on). But... 
Esme was in tears. 
I was peeved. 
And Fia? Well Fia wasn't bothered.


We ended up with one sunflower and a few other seedlings remaining. I was determined for Esme to get them going and growing. From this point on, we carried the box inside every night. Nurturing them all as much as possible. 

And then, rather beautifully, our one sun flower, 




the four caterpillar plants, 
 and the three Mexican hats, began to grow. 
Eventually, the children had to pot them on.
 Which they did, carefully.
 So carefully.
Interested in the next part of the journey that their precious plants were to undertake.



















TO BE CONTINUED...


DETAILS:
Don’t worry if you’re not green-fingered, or even if you don't have a garden, because help is at hand, and QVC is here to the rescue with their fabulous Watch Them Grow Kits. Well sort of... unless the bloody slugs and snails and puppy dog tails get involved that is. 
Find the kits (there is a vegetable one too) and other seasonal blooms, and a whole host of garden ideas for little growers, online at www.qvcuk.com/watchthemgrow 


VERDICT:
90% of adults have happy memories of spending time in the garden as a child. Today, some 20% of our children have no idea that you could grow potatoes or carrots in the garden... this is no doubt  hindered by the fact that playing computer games, watching TV and playing with a parent/carer’s mobile phone have become far more important to a child. It's definitely time to change that!


Emma Oliver and the GraceFaith blog received QVC Watch them grow kit, in exchange for a review on the parenting/lifestyle blog LIFE AS IT IS

For DISCLOSURE & DISCLAIMER, please view my page on LEGAL STUFF