Green fingers get busy with roof gardens

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 June, 2008, 12:00am

Primary and secondary students citywide have been communing with nature this year in a competition aimed at turning their fingers green.

The Hong Chi Association's Roof Greening Competition has been calling on schools to turn their flat roofs into gardens, in a drive to promote environmental awareness.

It is the second year the mental health charity has run the competition, drawing entries from 39 schools.

Students at HHCLKA Buddhist Chan Shi Wan Primary School in Sheung Shui used their garden to form a map of China, complete with references to the Beijing Olympics. The iconic National Stadium, the 'Bird's Nest', was represented with a strawberry plant.

Teacher Tsui Kwai-ming said the project was useful for inspiring students to learn about nature and about the growth cycle of plants.

'This year, we had a central theme for the garden and that seemed to get more students interested,' he said.

The school is among six other primaries and seven secondaries to make the shortlist for the final, which is to be announced on July 12.

'I love our roof garden,' said Primary Five student Li Mei-yee, 11. 'I love to come here at breaks to tend to the plants and flowers.' Mei-yee said students had designed the theme and layout for the garden themselves.

'Everyone in our year painted pictures of our ideal garden,' she said. 'Then we decided which one we liked the best.'

Her favourite part of the garden was a small rockery and collection of cacti at the top on the northern border of the leafy map.

'The cactus is to represent the deserts of in Mongolia,' she said.

But there was one drawback.

'Everybody else ate all the strawberries too quickly. There were none left for me.'