School Garden Challenge
Every year groups of school children learn about much more than gardening as they work in teams on our Chris Collins (Blue Peter) lead School Gardens Challenge sposnored by BAM, this year the garden designs theme is Space.
Abberley Hall - Year 8
Garden Name: The Abberley Space Rocket
Garden Sponsors: Robert and Clare Myers and Casper Gabb
The theme of the garden is based on a book written about our school clock tower. The purpose of the garden is to take people on an adventure inspired by the book. An adventure that imagines what would happen if the clock tower became a space rocket. The shape layout is designed to take people on a walk through the planets and then shows how the clock tower might look in a futuristic city on a new planet.
Ashton Keynes C of E Primary - Reception to Year 5
Garden Name: Team AK's Grand Day Out
Garden Sponsors: Heritage Books Cirencester, Parlour Farm Cirencester
Our garden is inspired by the film Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Day Out and to follow the show’s theme of space, our garden will have lots of recycled items in it. Once our space garden has been to the show it will be rebuilt back at our school so that the children can show the local community what our school can do if they work as a team.
Beoley First School - Whole School
Garden Name: O Beoley-Wan Kenobi
The theme for this garden is Star Wars, the name was voted for by the school children and their guardians, O Beoley Wan Kenobi was the winning name. Over the October half term each child was asked to design a garden for their homework - 99 gardens designs were created! All of the designs along with six school children went to the workshop help at Three Counties so they could discuss with Phil from BAM the designs and decide on the final layout.
The children are heavily involved in environmental issues within the school as it is an ‘ECO School’ with the prestigious green flag. The children wanted the garden to reflect this by up cycling items not buying them. The garden will be influenced by both Star Wars and space with lots of bright flowers to represent the different planets.
Bredon School - Year 3 - 6 and Sixth Form
Garden Name: Is There Anybody Out There?
Garden Sponsors: Johnathan Bishop of Foliation Limited
The theme of the garden is to represent the pupils perception of Planet Earth in Space, pupils are learning about space in their curriculum and they are looking at colours, shapes and sizes of planets.
The garden is the pupil’s interpretation of possible life in space. They are asking: “Will human life in Space be possible in the future and is there life already – or any vegetation on other planets that have not been discovered yet?” they want to explore unusual plants that we have on Earth and implement them into their garden wherever possible. Pupils enjoy interactive learning at school and will make the garden interactive for visitors to enliven the senses. Materials, both recycled from last year’s garden entry and materials found on the school grounds will be used. Insect attracting plants will be used to show life on Earth!
Bromsgrove Preparatory School - Nursery to Year 8
Garden Name: It's Out Of This World
Garden Sponsors: Baylis & Harding, AK Fitted Interiors
The purpose of the ‘It’s out of this world’ garden is to give a visual representation of the solar system, incorporating some of the key aspects of space exploration and discovery. The garden is intended to be used as an educational environment where pupils can learn. The garden will have a footpath running through it so pupils can access the garden from two sides and walk throughout. There is a seating area where pupils can sit and view the different aspects. There will be a viewing window at pupil height so that they can enjoy the vista from a different perspective.
The pupils have incorporated various recycled materials throughout including pop bottles and wellington boots. Environmentally friendly materials will be used wherever possible and the intention is to reused, rebuild the garden at school where possible.
Cradley C of E Primary School - Nursery to Year 6
Garden Name: Cradley's Garden on Mars
Garden Sponsors: John Richard Nurseries, AG Boniface & Sons Ltd
Our garden explores a child’s view of what an astronaut’s garden on Mars might be like. Many questions arise when thinking about a Martian garden, for example: What conditions do plants need and how can we provide them? What is an astronaut’s garden for? Our design includes space for food production as well as rest and relaxation. Learning about the conditions needed for growing plants on Mars has also enabled children to appreciate the importance of gardens on our own planet.
Franche Community Primary School - Year 5
Garden Name: Franche's Galactic Growing Galaxy
Pupils have researched planet Mars and have been inquisitive about the Mars Mission. Each element of the design has been carefully considered by the pupils in order to encompass the many features of the planet Mars. The design is centred on sustainable gardening principles. A composter, in the design of a ‘Martian critter’ to deter birds, will be used to recycle organic waste. This would mean less material going to landfill and more organic material for the soil. Pupils have learnt about the importance of recycling and that waste has a huge negative impact on the natural environment. The materials that the children propose to use are mainly recycled, and include: glass, plastic, wood and compost.
Heathfield School & Day Nursery - Year 6 to 8
Garden Name: The Galaxy Garden
The garden will represent a journey through space from one corner of the garden to the other in search of a new planet which can sustain life. The journey begins in a rocket ship placed in one corner of the garden which provides a seated area to view the rest of the garden. In the opposite corner of the garden is a grassy mound which represents a ‘new planet’. The only way to travel from one area to the other is through thick black grasses which represent space between the planets. There will be asteroids to step on as you traverse through space passing the planets of our solar system on the way. The ‘new’ planet will also provide an area to sit on and view the galaxy from a higher perspective.
Malvern Wells C of E Primary School - Whole School
Garden Name: Out of This World
Garden Sponsors: Zantedeschia by Brighter Blooms, Malvern Hills Riding School, Morrisons Malvern, Cooks of Stourport, St Peters Garden Centre, Roger Allport Nurseries Newland
The theme of the garden is living on another planet. There is reference to the transport to the planet (lunar lander), the accommodation on the planet (geodesic dome) and to the food which would be grown and eaten, including a section of raised planting demonstrating hydroponics. It will be possible to walk into the garden on a “lunar landscape” path made from recycled materials. Recycled materials will also be used to construct the raised bed borders, the geodesic dome and the lunar lander. All the children will be encouraged to plant a recycled food tin and decorate it as a “grass head alien”. Solar power will be used to power the lights on the inner walls of the raised planting to represent stars.
Regency High School - Year 7 to Sixth Form
Garden Name: Adventures in Laika Land
Garden Sponsor: Airducts Design
The theme of the garden is Laika the dog who was sent to space by Russian scientists in 1957 in Sputnik II. It is a sad story of the hero dog who dies. We like to believe that the dog had a happy time in space, giving us the name of the garden “Living in Laika Land”. Nothing is going to be harmes as we are planting in old cans, and we use school plants in them. We are re-using wood pallets for a launcher, rubble and rocks from a local stone mason and scrap metal for structure. Vertical planting saves ground space and feeds Laika and family.
RGS Worcester - Year 7 to 8
Garden Name: One Giant LEAF For Mankind
Garden Sponsor: Angel Gardens
The theme of the garden is Space, with elements of the design relating to the Solar Systems and the International Space Station Mission, together with the experiments conducted on board by Tim Peake. The design will use recycled materials collected in School and elsewhere. This will include rubber fragments from recycled tyres, plastic water bottles, recycled drainage shots and ducting.
The Ridge Academy - Whole School
Garden Name: Feed the Universe
The theme of the garden is about growing food in space, and the ability to sustain all life forms with nourishment. The garden will be created using predominantly recycled materials, relevant to the garden by finding alternatives uses for everyday items. The garden will feature a central Martian rockery garden with infill planting which will be cared for by a windmill powered irrigation system, which will be suspended by all four corners of the garden.
Stanley Road Primary School and Nursery - Whole School
Garden Name: My Space In Space
Our school garden of 2017 will focus on an astronaut who has crash landed onto an unknown planet. One half of the garden will be British flowers and vegetables (his little England) which reminds him of home. Over time he has become very eco-responsible and has up-cycled and reused many items from his spaceship to grow plants in. The left side panel will be a living wall totally covered in herbs grown in guttering, tin cans and bottles. In addition this area have 3 raised beds, a scarecrow, bug hotel and a Stevenson weather screen( with instruments ) all made from recyclable material. This part of the garden will recreate a self-sufficiency.
In stark contrast to the lush “little England” the opposite side of the garden will represent an alien planet with architectural or unusually shaped plants growing in a rough terrain amongst a rocky surface. A feature of the garden will be the crashed space ship raised up with a few rocky stones at the back of the garden with a stream tricking from it. Observing his beautiful garden the contented spaceman viewing his garden with wonderful memories of home and looking forward to the future in his unknown planet.
Chris Collins - School Gardens Challenge Champion
Starting in 1984 as an apprentice gardener with the Brighton Parks Department, Chris had a good foundation in practical and scientific nature of horticulture, and has since had a varied career. He has worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, later Kew, and finally Westminster Abbey, before entering the world of television. He has appeared on numerous gardening programmes and is perhaps most well known for his role as the BBC Blue Peter Gardener. Chris is keen to support school and community gardening and is a valuable patron to encourage our fantastic gardener's of the future as they design and build their show gardens.