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Students from Blois working and learning
in the MGS Garden

By Sally Razelou Custodian of the MGS Garden at Sparoza

Thomas Audouard and Valérie Tasseel, both first-year students at L'École Nationale Supérieure de la Nature et du Paysage, Blois, arrived on 30th March for a two-month period, to work in the garden and learn about horticultural practices.

They have both celebrated their 21st birthdays here. They are eager to learn about plants in this Mediterranean garden and very willing workers. They have been instructed in all aspects of management of the MGS Garden at Sparoza: working in the nursery sowing seeds and taking cuttings, shredding and composting, mulching, preparing soil mixtures for propagation, planting, pruning of shrubs and trees, strimming the 'savannah' and circular 'lawn', and weeding the borders.

I have tried to take them on an excursion every ten days at least, which they much appreciate, and they had a full exposure to the rites of the Orthodox Easter.

They have a great deal of homework to do which they present to their tutors on return to the school at the end of May. They are asked to make an interesting diary with drawings, souvenirs and descriptive passages, as well as a more formal report and a herbarium. When they finish work at 5 p.m. they dedicate themselves to these tasks.

Lina Stenemo, the student gardener who is with us for the whole year, has been of great help to me in taking them shopping, to the bus, or out for a meal in the evening. They went by bus and foot to the Meteora on the May Day weekend and to the island of Aegina for an overnight visit one weekend. They cater for themselves in the annexe and all get on very well.

Thomas and Valérie helped set up our kiosk at the Kifissia Flower Show, after which I took them to the Goulandris Natural History Museum where Niki Goulandris spared half an hour of her time to meet and talk to them. They love the garden and their labour is of infinite value in April and May when there is so much to be done and so many visitors

We have now had five students from the ENSNP in Blois and they have all been delightful young people. It is my hope that Sparoza may have students from Blois each year.


 

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