Children’s TV favourite opens Nursery garden
After cutting the official ribbon, Mr Bloom – aka Ben Faulk – helped the nursery pupils, both girls and boys, plant the flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetable plants they had brought along for the occasion and answered some searching questions about his TV sidekicks, the Veggies.
When the gardening was complete he joined the children, parents and staff for a teddy-bears picnic and presented each child with a signed photograph of himself and the Veggies to mark the occasion.
Ben was born and grew up in Truro, where he had his first taste of acting as a member of the Truro Operatic Society. He moved to Manchester in 1998 to attend university and after completing his degree began working on a piece of walk-about theatre he called Vegetable Nannies. He later adapted the show for television using games and songs to encourage children to learn about life through the wonder of gardening. The show was broadcast by CBeebies for the first time in February. Since then Mr Bloom and his Veggies have become firm favourites amongst younger viewers.
Ben said: “It’s really important to me that kids can go outside and use their imaginations. In the TV allotment we let children roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty and get hands-on with vegetables and it looks like they’ll be able to do exactly that in this fabulous garden. I hope it inspires the children and proves that vegetables shouldn’t be something alien that lands on their plates.”
The High School allotment was designed, built and decorated by Head of the Nursery, Tracey Kemp, her deputy, Gill Redfearn and Mark Verran.
Tracey said: “We would never have been able to complete this project without the help of some very important people. Nursery parents, Rob and Clare Love provided a River Cottage Vegetable Garden Pack, The Range donated flowers, Nicola Bush at The Roseland Nursery gave bark, compost and other necessities, Travis Perkins helped with bark and Mr Bloom, together with the children, added the extra sparkle. We can’t thank them all enough.”
To show their appreciation for the help he gave putting the finishing touches to the new allotment, the nursery school pupils presented an extremely appreciative Ben with a hand-knitted ‘Mr Bloom’. It was wearing his customary costume and came complete with a couple of Veggies – Colin the runner bean and Raymond the butternut squash.
Headmistress of Truro High School, Caroline Pascoe, said: “This very exciting project is what learning is all about – caring, nurturing and working together to achieve something outstanding.”