Cleo James
Just about leading the gardening club
Wed Dec 13, 2017 20:36

Cleo had not got especially far with starting the gardening club in the first half of term. She had talked it through with Professor Xavier and come up with a plan and then… Well, she had made friends with Parker, and that had sort of taken over. Plus she had this slight doubt about whether anyone would want to come to a club run by a second year. She wasn’t much of a joiner, let alone a starter, and it had been easy to put off something that she viewed as slightly intimidating, even though she hoped it would be worth it in the long run. Over Midterm though, she could tell that her daddy was a bit disappointed that she hadn’t got further with the club. She didn’t want him to be, and didn’t want Professor Xavier to be disappointed either or to think she was lazy, so she resolved to get the club going on her return.

Thus, just a few weeks into the new term, once the snow had melted, she arranged, with the Professor’s help, for posters to be put in all the common rooms, announcing that a gardening club would be starting on the Saturday, and everyone interested should meet on the front steps at eleven. It declared that no experience was necessary, and that everyone should bring any tools they had, gloves and enthusiasm. She had illustrated the poster with little plants, which grew up, sprouting leaves and eventually flowers. She had decided not to put that she would be running the club on the posters, still hung up on the worry that most people wouldn’t come if they knew a second year was in charge.

Of course, this cover would be blown shortly into the first meeting. Cleo waited for a suitable number of people to gather on the steps, before she announced.

“Um. Hi. So… I’m Cleo, and I decided to start the gardening club,” she blushed slightly, hoping people would still be interested in staying. “So, we have an area of the gardens we’re going to be working on. I thought today that we could go over, do some general weeding and other maintenance, and also talk about plans for how we might like to develop it,” she explained.

At her meeting with Professor Xavier, it had been decided that the gardening club would engage in several activities. Where Professor Xavier or the elves needed or would appreciate some assistance in maintaining the greenhouses or the gardens, they could put a call out to the club (it was hard to say whether the elves would ever deem themselves in need of or wanting the help of marauding human children, taking pride as they did in Their Job of keeping Sonora running smoothly, but at least the option was there). This meant that the gardening club was of use but without placing extra demand on Professor Xavier to come up with things for their amusement, or turning it into an additional herbology class. They had also been given license to take over the area that had served as the herbology department, prior to the greenhouses being finished. The area had been used by Professor Xavier to demonstrate plants to his class - some planted within the gardens, some just brought in for the day. Since the completion of the greenhouses, the area hadn’t really been given a new purpose. It had probably been kept in decent repair by the prairie elves, so the club might not have too much to do that day. She had asked Professor Xavier for a list of back up jobs, just in case they ran out of things to do.

“So, if you’d like to follow me…” she added, leading the group through the grounds to the area they’d be working on. “I have spare trowels and forks if anyone needs,” she added, placing down a small bag of borrowed equipment. “Have a look around for jobs that need doing. If you’re new to gardening and you’re not sure, just ask someone else.” It perhaps, wasn’t the most dynamic leadership, but Cleo had little experience of being the leader. Even amongst kids her own age, she was small and with sweet features that always leant her to the role of baby or little sister when they played house, or to other people wanting to adopt and pet her in one way or another. She’d never had to seek out other people’s company, and take charge of the game or the activity. She was usually sought, and directed.

“So,” she smiled at the person who’d taken up the space nearest her as she set to work, “Have you done much gardening before?”

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