Pupils, parents and teachers from local schools gathered at Newbridge Nurseries onThursday October 22 for the presentation of awards for this year’s Horsham in Bloom Schools Competition.
The brief was given to the schools in the spring to produce a ‘hanging garden’ with free interpretation encouraged but with consideration to be given to the judging criteria.
Wooden pallets were offered to the schools as a basis for the project. The variety and inventiveness of the gardens produced was amazing with nearly every school expanding their gardens beyond the scope offered by a pallet!.
Joint third prize was awarded to Kingslea Primary School and Trafalgar Community School.
Kingslea Primary School had designed their garden to tie in with their projects on the Vikings and Aztecs and the theme of sweets, choosing plants such as sweet peas and other plants with varieties such as Candyfloss and Curly Wurly. They also created a quiet den with four pallets brightly painted and fixed securely together to produce a sheltered area for use by the children which was then covered in many different containers planted up with an assortment of flowers, herbs and vegetables.
Trafalgar Community School had involved all the children by asking them to bring in plants potted up at home in up cycled containers of their own choice, including a toy colander and wellington boots. These were then arranged on an old music stand and writing trolley to create the desired hanging garden.
Joint second prize was awarded to All Saints C of E Primary School and Queen Elizabeth II School.
At All Saints C of E Primary School each year group had designed a garden on a plot each about 1 metre wide by 2 metres deep. The height was added by such inventive designs as a basketball arena with baskets ball stands at either end holding a large pot planted with flowers, side lines depicted by English Marigolds and players represented by sunflowers! Another class had an old chest of drawers with each drawer pulled out to increasing amounts to give a tiered effect to the plants potted up in the drawers, and a personal favourite the washing line with trousers, dresses and shirts sewn up to produce planting pockets with flowers trailing from them.
Queen Elizabeth II School had painted and planted up myriad pots and containers and hung them in the trees and from woven obelisks made by the students. Painted pebbles had been set into the grass in the shape of a butterfly to give added interest. They created a warming fire from an old car tyre had also painted their pallet in a very colourful way and filled it with plants.
First prize was awarded to Littlehaven Infants School, who had enhanced a well fruiting pear tree with recycled tins which had been decorated and planted with blue lobelia some of which had been grown from seed, which produced an enchanting effect.
‘Grass heads and chive heads’ and other herbs had been hung on a painted trellis to give another interpretation of a hanging garden. The school had also grown a lot of plants from seed, sweet peas, sunflowers and petunias which had been artfully hung from the canopy and supports that shelters that side of the school, in recycled containers decorated by the pupils along with giant sunflowers and trailing vegetable plants.
The presentation was made by Liz Timmer, vice chair of Horsham in Bloom, and Steve Nichols, the manager of the Blue Diamond-owned garden centre, who very generously sponsored the competition and donated the prizes.
Sue Brundish, chairman of Horsham in Bloom, complimented the schools on the enthusiastic manner in which the competition was embraced and said she was deeply impressed with how the gardens had been created.
In judging the gardens the judges gave credit for imaginative interpretation, plants chosen, the condition of the plants when judged, the research into their choice of plants and involvement of the children, and finally the use of recycled material and overall impact.
It was noted that some of the plants were so well established that they were reported to still be flourishing after the school summer holidays when they had not had the regular care offered in term time, others had been dismantled and taken home by the children involved.
Next year’s competition might be on the theme of nursery rhymes or fairy tales. Now that is something to think about! Many thanks to all who took part. Thank you once again to Blue Diamond who provided the sponsorship.
Please see www.horshaminbloom.org.uk for photographs.
Pictured above are the winners of the competition from Littlehaven, All Saints, Kingslea and Trafalgar with Newbridge Nurseries manager Steven Nicholls. QEII were unable to attend so a separate presentation will take place at their school.
Report by Jane Pritchard. Horsham In Bloom. Picture contributed.