School gardeners rewarded by RHS
Here at Amberol, we’re always happy when talented gardeners are rewarded for the positive difference they make to the communal space around them. Amberol is privileged to supply schools (all over the UK) with our self-watering planters, bins and environmentally-friendly seating, so we were delighted to hear about the winners of the RHS School Gardeners of the Year Competition.
Twenty-four deserving finalists were selected from the three categories of RHS Young School Gardener of the Year, RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year and RHS School Gardening Team of the Year.
Making the cut
As well as planning, producing and maintaining their attractive and functional gardens, the teams of teachers, adult volunteers and children ranging in age from 5 to 16, created short videos to showcase all they had achieved in terms of growing their garden and improving the surroundings for the whole school community. The videos were judged over two days by an expert panel including representatives from the Campaign for School Gardening, greenhouse manufacturer Gabriel Ash Managing Director Di Limam and ITV’s Love Your Garden presenter Frances Tophill.
Cream of the crop
The overall winner of RHS Young School Gardener of the Year was 15-year-old Ellie Micklewright from Newport Girls’ High School Academy Trust in Shropshire. The judges were impressed by Ellie’s achievement in setting up and gaining funding for a 40-strong school gardening club from scratch, with few resources at her disposal. The judges hailed Ellie as “an inspirational young lady who has shown dedication and enthusiasm to develop a gardening club and improve the school grounds”.
The winner in the School Gardening Champion category was Matthew Willer, a history teacher at Reepham High School and College in Norfolk. Matthew’s ‘Allotment Project’, designed to be a sanctuary from the demands of secondary school, with teamwork and environmental responsibility at its heart, won high praise from the judges who described Matthew as “inspirational and awe-inspiring”.
Teamwork at its best
The team from St Gregory’s Catholic Science College in Harrow are the RHS School Gardening Team of the Year Winner for 2018. Not only did the seven-strong team of 13-15 year-olds win high praise from the judges, but their achievement in transforming space earmarked for a carpark extension into an eco-friendly outdoor classroom, also available to nursery and primary pupils, was featured on BBC Breakfast. This ambitious project in the school’s 60th year prompted the judges to say, “To see a team of young people so engaged in their school, their wider community and the environment at large is a leading light to us all. What a fantastic team. They are a credit to their school”.
Anyone inspired by these creative and committed young people can find out more about the RHS Campaign for School Gardening on the RHS website.