Cam­pus pop­pies make an im­pact

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

There was such a great re­sponse to pop­pies on cam­pus last year, Massey Univer­sity li­brary staff have de­cided to re­plant the con­course gar­dens again.

Shee­anda McKeagg says in 2015, not con­tent with just an in­door dis­play of knit­ted and cro­cheted pop­pies, li­brary staff de­cided to cre­ate wo­ven harakeke (flax) pop­pies to dis­play in the univer­sity gar­dens.

‘‘We man­aged to get around 300 made and dis­played in var­i­ous gar­dens in front of the li­brary. There were so many pos­i­tive com­ments from stu­dents and staff, and there were even peo­ple pass­ing by while we were in­stalling them, who shed a tear or two.

‘‘They stayed in the ground for a month, rain, hail and shine and still looked vi­brant. We then thought this year we would try and dou­ble the num­ber of harakeke pop­pies.’’

Not that Shee­anda has counted them all, but she hopes the to­tal they planted out on Mon­day is around the 600 mark.

‘‘They are look­ing stun­ning, and plenty of stu­dents have taken photos of them, and asked what it is all about – es­pe­cially the for­eign stu­dents. the re­ac­tion has been great.’’

Both times, they had as­sis­tance from Ria Waik­ere­puru who taught her col­leagues how to har­vest, pre­pare and weave the flax.

Dur­ing March and April, li­brary staff also ap­proached stu­dents to help with the weav­ing.

‘‘A col­league and I then dyed them.’’

Some of the pop­pies are red, oth­ers plain, and some pur­ple.

‘‘Ap­par­ently the pur­ple coloured ones rep­re­sent the an­i­mals that were in­volved in the war.’’

Palmer­ston North’s City Li­brary has also em­barked on a harakeke poppy weav­ing project, hold­ing Fri­day morn­ing weav­ing work­shops along­side knit­ting ses­sions.

The knit­ted pop­pies will be in­cor­po­rated into a wreath to be laid on An­zac Day, while the dyed flax pop­pies will be in­stalled in The Square this week.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON/FAIRFAX NZ

A gar­den of red , pur­ple and plain harakeke pop­pies have sprung up in Massey Univer­sity gar­dens around the li­brary and con­course.

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