Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Poppy Blitz

Date posted: 24 August 2016

When: Saturday 24 September
Time: 8:30am start (arrive 8:15am for sign-in)
Where: Mount Lofty Botanic Garden (enter via Lower Carpark off Lampert Road, see map)
Cost: FREE
Registration: Capped at 100 volunteers. Sign up at Eventbrite.

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden’s annual Garden Blitz returns on Saturday 24 September, giving you the chance to help plant up to 7,000 poppies and commemorate Australia’s war dead.

Each year the Blitz offers volunteers, of all ages and gardening abilities, the chance to contribute to South Australia’s beautiful and historic gardens with a fun morning of gardening and a FREE barbecue lunch.

This year you'll help transform a section of Mount Lofty Botanic Garden into a sea of red through the planting of around 7,000 Flanders poppies (Papaver rhoeas), which it’s hoped will be in full flower in time for Remembrance Day on 11 November.

Starting at 8:30am sharp (arrive for sign-in at 8:15am), you'll work alongside friends, family, like-minded green thumbs and Garden staff to plant poppies on the hillside behind the Garden’s Duck Pond, and potentially help with other tasks such as mulching.

Then, at 1pm, it’s tools-down for a free sausage sizzle to celebrate your achievements.

As you'll be completing physical work, appropriate dress is required. We recommend the following:

  • Long work pants (jeans and strong cotton materials are best)
  • Protective garden or work gloves
  • Sturdy enclosed footwear
  • A hat and sunscreen

We also encourage you to bring your own hand trowel with you on the day. Visit our Eventbrite page to register. We can't wait to see you there!

Background

The number of poppies planned for the Blitz is significant because of the almost 7,000 Australians killed in the French village of Pozières in 1916 – 100 years ago – during the First World War’s Battles of the Somme.

Red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the ravaged battlefields of northern France and Belgium during the First World War and, in soldiers’ folklore, the deep red of the poppy came from the blood of their mates, spilled on the ground.

The poppy has since become widely accepted throughout the allied nations as the flower of remembrance to be worn on Armistice or Remembrance Day.