Students from Queen Elizabeth II School also given a Bronze award whose display included appropriately-coloured flowering plants in the shape of a robin alongside a colourful model of a large honey bee and a honeycomb.
Holbrook School Gardening Club, winners of the Silver award, have taken on a long-term project investigating plants best suited to a variety of conditions alongside the need for conservation in order to safeguard habitats for wildlife.
The Gold award winners from Kingslea Gardening Club had chosen three themes, ‘Save Our Beach’,’ Look after Bees and Butterflies’ plus ‘Up-cycle wherever you can’ to show their concern at the threat to wildlife posed by the enormous amount of plastic waste, particularly on beaches and in the sea. They grew a wide range of flowers, fruit and vegetables from seed, making good use of their greenhouse and taking great pride in maintaining and picking their produce and then enjoying eating it.
Arunside, new entrants to the competition and joint winners of the Bronze award, grew a wide variety of flowers and vegetables in raised beds to see and understand the importance of growing nectar-rich plants for insects, bees and butterflies.
The competition aims to support and promote local schoolchildren into the early stages of horticulture, engendering a love of plants to improve their environment while having fun and learning that gardening is a long-term project.
All the schools rose to the challenge magnificently which left the judges having to look and listen very carefully to ensure the entries were suitably rewarded. Steve Brundish, one of the judges, commented how varied their entries were and that the children’s knowledge of pollination and life cycles, their understanding of the importance for conservation alongside the need for regular maintenance, stood out loud and clear.
During the presentation of prizes, Rhona Chambers from Stooks Café at Newbridge Garden Centre praised the children for their hard work and encouraged them to go on gardening into the future.
Sue Brundish from Horsham in Bloom thanked Newbridge for their support and highlighted the children’s enthusiasm and considerable knowledge they had shown to the judges.
This year's theme was 'Songs and Rhymes' OR 'Any topic of choice!'
The judges looked for:
Inventivness & creativity; well-cared-for plants in good condition;
evidence of some plants and/or vegetables grown from seed;
evidence of input and design development by children/students;