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Introduction

Plant Guardians care for one specific plant in a particular genus. The plant we are featuring is the Canna ‘Chouchou’ which is cared for by the Minihorts at Wicor School in Portchester. They received a plant from the Collection Holder Keith Haywood and the children have learned to propagate it and care for it properly over winter. They have increased the number of plants by doing this, actively ensuring the plant’s survival.

Canna Plant Guardians

Wicor School in Portchester are the Plant Guardians for the Canna ‘Chouchou’. All of the students have been Minihorts since 2013 and all take part in the care of the grounds within the school. The students at the school all take part in propagating C. ‘Chouchou’ by diving and by doing this they are increasing their plant stock.

The students told us about how they plant out the Canna ‘Chouchou’ in early May and that it blooms from early June to as late as November. The Canna ‘Chouchou’ is planted out in the school’s tropical garden, next to a wall, as it needs heat and sunlight to flourish. Then the students bring the plants back in over winter. Some are kept in pots, others in the ground. This is because the students are seeing which is better for the plant and also keeping stocks separate to reduce the risk of the Canna virus.

This ensures our incredible diversity of cultivated plants, whether for food, medicine, ornament or heritage, remain available for the enjoyment and use of generations to come.

Canna Cultivation

Wicor School are trying to show the students an organic way of managing plants. The students told us that they have had great success with it!

All of the students at Wicor School take part in four ground’s days a year. At the last ground’s day around 100 trees were planted by the students. They also take this time to wash pots and ensure the allotment is tidy and weed free. If the weather is bad on ground’s day then the students do other environmental or horticultural projects such as still life drawing, planning gardens and nature walks.

The school has an excellent working relationship with Fareham Borough Council and Portsmouth City Council who help them find plants and people to help them in the grounds.

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