Tag Archives: literacy

Tall Tree Town & George the Magic Maker…

Recently I had the chance to go to one of our local parks to look at development in the gardens. I was asked by my pal H with whom I used to work with. He has an infectious enthusiasm and knack for getting people round a table to collaborate. We were taken on a wander through Pollok park to Tall Tree Town. This was the genius creation of one of the gardeners. It was a tiny wee village of fairy houses and magic. H was so taken with this he wants to get more exposure for to and look at how more people could enjoy this from all over the city.
As a mum, I just marvelled at the prospect of getting on my fairy wings and taking the wee lady to find magical things.
Each fairy house had a backdrop to a fairytale or a nursery rhyme and immediately all the educational lights started to go on for me. As George took us round the houses we spoke of how he loved to hear “weans tell you what they can see or why they think something is like that”
A natural-born story-teller with his teddy boy hair cut and wellies, I couldn’t help but be quite taken with him. I asked him if he had kids or grandkids and he said no,but he had brought up his sisters and there were lots of stories.
Having been surrounded by books and stories as a child, I have developed a love of reading. The wee lady is the same.
We wandered round the fairy houses then we met the dragon -all hand carved from wood and covered in sparkles. The labour of love that has gone into this coupled with the imagination from George was quite simply stunning.
The assembled group met back for tea and then we started to create some of our own magic.
I talked about potential from a literacy point of view both in English and in different languages, John Muir award and contributions to Eco awareness in the local community. I was struck when George said to me. ” I couldn’t have told you that hen,I am just a gardener and you in education know much more”
How wrong he was.
All I did was change he language and look at how it could address some different areas in education -which was right at the heart of what he was doing.
Just a gardener? I think not.
H had us all galvanised and within a few days I was invited back with the wee lady and there were some TV cameras.
This resulted in quite simply the most magical wee clip with George taking the wee people round, him telling stories and the wee people asking questions ” are blacksmiths bad guys?” ” where is the back door?”
George told them about the Tall Tree and the history of it in Native American Tribes, he told them about flowers growing, where to look for horse shoes and to keep their eyes peeled for fairies. In the clip he made me laugh when he said that he wanted wee people to know that gardening wasn’t just about gardening…….
I have to say, we need more people like George. Magic makers. Story tellers.
And people like H. Who bring it all together.
If you get a chance, Tall Tree Town in Pollok Park…..a joy.

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