Botanic Gardens, Kew
Lively Plant Cultures projects co-ordinated by the
lead partner, Kew, and facilitated by museums and environment projects
around the country are involving people in sharing their stories
about plants. Activities include behind-the-scene access to museums
and gardens, art and craft workshops, exhibitions and the introduction
to computers and new technology.
half term week in February young people can experience Plant Cultures
in the climbers and creepers area at Kew Gardens. Easter activities
include a garden trail centered on Kew's iconic Palm House where
you can see many of the plants featured in the project, for instance
mango, coconut and the Banyan tree.
Community Environment Project is involved in collecting local stories
about people and plants and photographing the many places where
South Asian plants are found in the city. Plant Cultures workshops
for teachers at City Farm and the National Museum of Photography,
Film and Television, and a visit for a community group to Kew Gardens,
inspired stories of plants grown and used in both South Asia and
Extracts of stories already contributed to Plant Cultures:
cardamoms, garlic, ginger turmeric are all part of my ethnicity.
The reason I say this is you cannot cook an Asian meal without using
these three ingredients. So my kids may eat their fish and chips,
they might like their pizzas but I've got to have these three ingredients
in the home no matter what." Nussrat Mohammed, Bradford.
Lloyd from Grimbsy visits Bradford for spices. "We've come
from Grimsby, with my friend Nadine, to do our shopping. It's a
long way - a 200 mile round trip for us! We do it every year to
buy our year's supply of spices, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon,
garam masala. Then we look for fabrics and finish the day with a
curry at the Mumtaz Paan House."
Kaur writes: "Coconut is actually tied on the bride's hands,
on the wrists. It is part of the decoration on the wedding day but
it can also be used for when the bride and groom come into the parents
house the next day. He has to put two halves of a coconut on his
wrists and try to keep the halves steady on his hands. Balancing
the coconut is part of the culture and is to test his intelligence.
Museum of London is working with the SUBCO South Asian Elders day
Care Centre to produce artwork and stories featuring plants from
Asia. Also sharing stories, recipes and remedies are the Coriander
Gardening Club at Spitalfields City Farm, Harrow Women's' Yoga and
Health Group and the Kobi Nazrul Centre.
contributed to Plant Cultures will feature on the website as well
as a museum trail at the Museum of Docklands which highlights the
trading links between Britain and Asia.
Museums Services are working with Leicester communities and individuals
to share their stories and knowledge of plants featured on Plant
Cultures. A city trail will highlight many interesting areas such
as Leicester's Botanical Gardens and Belgrave Gate - Leicester's
Museums Liverpool are facilitating a range of workshops and creative
arts projects to inspire people to share their knowledge of plants
that are important in British south Asian Culture. Workshop includes
an introduction to using the Internet and creating digital artwork
focused on plants and their uses. A city trail will highlight the
city's trading heritage.
all, around 1200 historic images will be accessible on the Plant
Cultures website. Painting, prints, photographs and artefacts from
important collections present a rich and vital picture of Asian
life and plants and form a wonderful introduction to Indian art
and handicrafts of the last 400 years.
the British Library, jewel-like Mughal miniatures feature plants
in religion, feasts, mythology and daily life.
Gardens shows 18th century botanical painting, 19th century photographs
and a wide variety of objects from its collections. From the Natural
History Museum there are botanical prints and paintings from the
18th and 19th centuries, with exquisite objects from the Asian collections
at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Images from the welcome Library
put a special emphasis on medical history with European and Indian
drawings, paintings and prints of South Asian Scenes.
website provides a seamless introduction
to may plants and related topics for learners
of all ages. From April onwards, teachers
will find useful tips and activities on
how to use the site for teaching, while
students from Key Stage 2 right through
to undergraduate levels will find a depth
of knowledge suitable for their individual
interest and requirements.