‘TTG@Home’ – a lockdown initiative

Off

For the past few months we’ve ventured into new territory, developing a fabulous new initiative called ‘TTG@Home’.

A sample box

The idea

When the second lockdown was announced in January, we knew that we had to do something! The idea of creating a weekly box of ‘table-top’ activities that we could share with clients was born.

The programme

We built a programme which would offer the right balance of fun, engagement and the development of horticultural knowledge whilst being suitable for all abilities. Of course we hoped there was a reasonable likelihood of a successful outcome without creating too much mess in a home environment! It was no small task!

The production line

We transformed the main classroom in our Centre Building into a busy production line! We ordered packing boxes and created mailing labels and then our ever-adaptable team began packing up a selection of table-top horticultural activities.

Loaded up for a trip to the Post Office

The activities

In addition to two horticultural activities (think sowing microgreens, bulb planting or taking cuttings), each week we also created a range of ‘do at home’ craft videos that clients could access at any time using the materials they received in their weekly parcel. This time you might imagine clients making leaf rubbings, mixing seeds and fat to make pinecone birdfeeders and making ice sculptures made in plant pot saucers.

The finishing touches were paper-based activities offering anything from wildlife outlines to colour in to vegetable word searches and ideas of what to look out for on a nature walk. All accompanied by disposable gloves, aprons and including all the ingredients for success!

Ice flower

The routine

Every week since January we have despatched such a box of horticultural activities to each client who could then log in (on their normal day at the Garden) to a weekly online ‘Zoom’ session with our horticulture team who would guide them through the tasks.

The invaluable social interaction that we’ve all needed during the dark days of lockdown was all part of the session. Of course it couldn’t be the same as a day in the Garden, but it was lots of fun nonetheless and a lovely way to remain connected.

The feedback

Feedback has been lovely and here are a few comments…

Our students are really enjoying these sessions. Thank you, the resources and the effort getting them all over the county is wonderful’

‘This is amazing! Well done to our student and well done team at NTG for creating such fantastic sessions’.

First of all I just wanted to say how superb your boxes are. You have been so creative in the way they are put together – it really is excellent and we are so grateful that you went to so much effort to get the boxes to my daughter

Task completed

We’ve now despatched the last boxes and with great joy we re-opened the gate to the Garden on April 19th 2021.

Penny Walters

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