Sales help North Kitsap horticulture bloom

POULSBO — Poulsbo Junior High students stood elbow-to-elbow in one of the school’s greenhouses Monday morning, preparing more than 1,000 geraniums for a trip away from home.

Tim Ryan of Tim Ryan Construction bought 1,100 geraniums and more than 300 pansies from the PJH horticulture program early this week. The flowers will be used to decorate Village Green, but their sale will be beneficial in other quarters. The proceeds — more than $2000, said teacher Erin Murphy — will go to further fuel the horticulture program.

“It’s a very, very big sale for us,” Murphy said, noting that Ryan purchased flowers left over from a sale last year and at the time he said he would make a similar purchase in 2003.

“It was nice going into the year, knowing we’d have a sale of this size,” Murphy explained.

As the flowers were loaded into a pair of pickup trucks, students hustled inside, preparing the geraniums and pansies, moving them into containers and loading 12 per box.

“You have to be able to work together. If you don’t, it’s a lot tougher,” said ninth grader Ava Heston.

Heston said that the horticulture program is a lot of work and includes planting the flowers into rich soil, tagging them, watering them, and — when they are sold — transporting them out the door. Even so, she and her classmates agreed the work is worth it.

“We get to work with plants. It’s not like a regular science class,” said Annie Branson.

Students received the geraniums in January and planted them when they were less than an inch high. Their work was apparent on Monday morning.

Pink, purple and red flowers stretched from one end of the building to the other.

Murphy said the plant sales have difficulty competing with the less-expensive plant sales elsewhere in Kitsap County but added that the quality was as good as anywhere.

“The kids have done an amazing job... the quality is really great,” she said.

Students were happy to work and they’re happy to do more in the future.

“I’m glad the money will let us get to do more intense labs,” said Katie Fidgeon.

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