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M&S launches latest collectable craze with NEW Little Garden

M&S makes it ‘easy-peasy’ to educate and entertain the family this spring, with a UK-first in-store initiative, complete with fun miniature seedling kits.

From Wednesday 26th of February shoppers spending £20 or more in M&S foodhalls will be offered a complimentary seedling kit, containing one of 12 different varieties of well-known vegetables, flowers or herbs. 90%* of UK gardeners agree that getting green fingered improves their mood and keeps anxiety at bay, so whilst we await the return of the sunshine, there’s no better time to get growing and teach the little ones where food and flowers come from.

As we know, an alarming number of young children have a total disconnect to where their food comes from or how its grown, with 5% stating strawberries grow inside a fridge and 9% believing carrots grow on bushes**. With Little Garden, its hoped that children can see first-hand how plants grow big and strong, but also enjoy the rewards of that as the plants burst into flower for the first time or produce their first vegetables or herbs.

Each kit contains a biodegradable pot, soil tablet and seed mat, all you need in addition is a saucer or dish to stand your pot on, some water and some sunlight and away you go. Available from 29th March are the Little Garden accessories, including a colourful miniature tool set and watering can for just £3 each, ideal for little hands to get hold of and use (aged 3+).

Shoppers won’t know which seedling they’ve got until they open it at home, so you could find yourself with a carrot, pepper, pansy, viola, radish, beetroot, chilli pepper or forget-me-not – just to mention a few!

M&S has also partnered with gardening expert Lee Connelly (AKA The Skinny Jean Gardener) to help guide families on how to take the best care of their plants and ensure they are well looked after from day one. Lee is passionate about gardening with children and is best known for his work as the CBBC Blue Peter Gardener.

Lee Connelly, the Skinny Jean Gardener, said: “I’m so excited to be partnering with M&S Food on the Little Garden Campaign. As a dad and a keen gardener, I’m a firm believer that every child should know where their food comes from and have a basic understanding of how plants grow. Not only does this knowledge get more children eating their greens but it also gets them outside, hands in the soil, enjoying what nature has to offer.

The best bit about Little Garden is that anyone with a sunny spot indoors can do it, no big garden necessary and families can take part come rain or shine. Each seedling kit is a surprise and the M&S Little Garden website has some great games and videos for families to watch to help them learn all about the varieties they’ve got and what to do with them. I can’t wait to see families across the UK, sharing their progress and getting hands on with some of our best loved veg, flowers and herbs.”

Lee is also going on a nationwide school tour during the Little Garden campaign, aiming to get 10,000 children sowing and growing their own seeds, sponsored by M&S. Students up and down the UK will then be encouraged to nurture their seedling at home and then once ready to repot, bring the plants back to start mini allotments on the school grounds, for future students to tend to and enjoy.

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