Gardening: Craft Fueled by Passion

Rita in her element

Rita Idatsaba, a Botanist, took us through the process of nurturing and tending to plants starting from the planting of the flowers to floral arrangements. For those of us who were not present, here is a summary of what happened.

So why do we garden? According to her, everyone who gardens gets satisfaction in her own way. The garden can be a place to take time out, relax with friends, family and so on. It could also be a place to have a little cocktail party, depending on the type of garden it is. She talked about the basic things one has to know before establishing a garden. They include; knowledge of the climate, wind, temperature, soil type and the best position for your garden.

Some tools used for flower arrangement

To begin with, one has to get the necessary gardening tools like the Spade, a garden fork, rake, hoes, hand cultivator, trowel, hand fork, secateurs, garden shears, bucket, wheel barrow and a watering can. She also gave us pointers on which plants to use and how they are planted. For example, woody plants are necessary in every garden to serve as wind breaks, then, to always opt for evergreens if we want our gardens to be green all year round. Finally she talked at length on garden maintenance which is what keeps your garden in business. These include, weeding, manuring, watering and pruning. We also identified some plant enemies and how to deal with them.

The garden tour

The best part of it all was the tour of Afara Gardens. She demonstrated most of the things she had mentioned in the class especially that of how to properly cut flowers: slightly above the bud and in a slanting manner. This was new to all of us! We tried in vain to identify most of the plants by their botanical names…it was hilarious.


To round it off, she did a floral arrangement with the flowers we had harvested on the tour. It was beautiful. Ifeoma and Anita have been inspired to start off a garden in their homes. For Peace, this is the best botany class she has ever had. Dolapo and Perpetual were very excited that they can now identify and name some flowers. Mayowa will surely pay closer attention to the little garden in her home. Thank you Ms. Idatsaba!

The final product


Published by Afara Leadership Centre

Afara Leadership Centre was set up in 1987 to provide an enabling environment for total personal development as well as growth in leadership skills and values for young women in their years of secondary and tertiary education. It is located at 25 Thorburn Avenue, off Montgomery, Yaba, Lagos State, Nigeria. It is a project of Women’s Board of the Education Cooperation Society, a Nigerian not-for-profit, non-governmental organization. The spiritual formation given in the Centre is entrusted to Opus Dei, an institution of the Catholic Church

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