Fourteen schools from across Worcestershire and the West Midlands, are battling the elements to design and build display gardens for this week’s Malvern Spring Gardening Show (10 – 13 May).
In spite of inclement weather, pupils and their teachers have remained in good spirits during the build at Malvern’s lovely Three Counties Showground, and are now putting the finishing touches to the gardens, ready for scrutiny by a discerning panel of judges on Gold Day (10th).
This year’s theme is ‘Sustainability For All’, and garden seeds have been donated by Dobies and Suttons Seeds.
Malvern’s School Garden Project Challenge, supported by BAM Construct Ltd, was introduced seven years ago, as part of the Three Counties Agricultural Society’s commitment to work with education partners to deliver curriculum-based activities.
Building a garden is a tough, but extremely rewarding experience which enables youngsters to learn and practice a wide range of skills (designing, planning, communicating and working as a team).
The gardens will be judged for certificate of commendation by a panel of Royal Horticultural Society and Three Counties Agricultural Society judges.
CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) is making special awards for the first time this year, and the winning schools will receive their accolades from celebrity garden designer, Chris Beardshaw, in the new Plants & People Arena Theatre.
Phil Eves, Education Co-ordinator for BAM Construct Ltd, said he was delighted with the quality of the school gardens this year: “The weather conditions have certainly presented us with a challenge”, he said, “but the quirkiness of the designs have really put a smile back on my face.
BAM Construct Ltd is keen to get behind the School Garden initiative, because it is means of encouraging young people into our industry, in a more creative and innovative way.”
For more information about the Show, please visit the web site: www.threecounties.co.uk/springgardening or telephone the Showground on 01684 584924.
The Malvern Spring Gardening Show is a fund raising event and a joint venture of the Three Counties Agricultural Society (Registered charity no: 511868) and the Royal Horticultural Society (No: 222879).
Meadows First School, Bromsgrove – ‘Aliens at Meadows Love Underpants’
Inspired by the story Aliens Love Underpants and planted with vegetables and herbs.
Parkside Middle School, Bromsgrove – ‘Closing the Loop’
Features a water wheel to generate energy, willow hedging and a shed with a living roof.
Bromsgrove School – ‘Bee Happy’
A garden designed to promote biodiversity, complete with a honey spoon and a beehive composter.
St. John’s Middle School, Bromsgrove – ‘Knot Modern’
A take on the Elizabethan knot garden with a wetland area as a centre-piece.
Tiverton Special School, Coventry, with Year 10 Construction students, North Bromsgrove, High School – ‘Tiverton by the Sea’
A garden which illustrates the effect of global warming on sea levels and includes a beach and a mechanical wave maker.
Birchensale Middle School, Redditch – ‘Yesterday’s Garden’
Based on the back garden of a typical Victorian terraced house in the 1950s, during the ‘make do and mend era’.
Stafford College – ‘Nature Reclaims’
A reconstructed corner of an old abandoned and crumbling building to show how nature reclaims neglected landscapes.
Parkhall Academy, Castle Bromwich – ‘One Extreme to Another’
A garden depicting the difference between flooding and drought, featuring a small wooden shack using plastic bottles as lighting.
Burlish Park Primary School, Stourport-on-Severn – ‘George’s Marvellous Garden’
Based on the book George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, with a ‘George’s Saucepan’ water feature and medicinal plants.
Castlemorton Primary School, Malvern – ‘The Magical Tump Garden’
A garden which links to the village’s historic, medieval structure which used to stand on The Tump, featuring a wildflower meadow and specimen native trees.
Pitmaston Primary School, Worcester – ‘Pitmaston Past & Present’
Highlighting the work of the 19th century local horticulturist, John Williams, with a ‘past’ garden and a ‘present garden’.
Pershore College – ‘Plan for the Future’
Sustainable practice in a modern garden, including an bicycle centre-piece which powers garden equipment.
Tudor Grange – ‘The Good Life’
A garden attached to a caravan home, complete with a turf roof to encourage birds and insects.
Bridge Training & Development – ‘Sustainability Celebration’
Five circular beds and two small torch-shaped beds, with recycled junk for garden features.