St Andrew’s Primary win award in Pocket Garden Design competition

Monday June 26th 2023

St Andrews Primary won the food theme in the Pocket Garden contest

St Andrews Primary School wowed the judges with their birthday themed garden.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

The children at St Andrew’s Primary School in Gorebridge have been awarded a Certificate of Recognition in the eighth annual Pocket Garden Design Competition, run by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Winners of a design competition earlier this year were invited to turn their design into reality, and to showcase their completed garden. Children of all ages, from nursery to high school were tasked with reflecting the 2023 themes of Celebration, One Planet Picnic and Wildlife Gardening, having to use their creativity to create sustainable and eye-catching gardens.

The themes for this year’s pocket gardens were Celebration, One Planet Picnic and Wildlife gardening, and St Andrew’s pupils decided to make their garden a celebration of all their birthdays. The garden included planters created to look like presents, ice creams and cake. Painted stones to mark each of the children’s individual birthdays were featured along with vegetables, herbs and flowers.

The other themed winners were Appletree Nursery in Argyll and Bute for the celebration theme and Banchory Academy, Aberdeenshire for the wildlife gardening theme.

The online Pocket Garden showcase was launched in 2021, with 38 garden design winners displayed in its first year. This year, 43 schools were chosen to be entered into the online showcase and 8,514 votes were cast by the public to choose the public’s favourite winning design.

Newmains Primary from Renfrewshire won first place, receiving 1,066 votes and 12.53% of the online vote. Firpark Primary School from North Lanarkshire came in second with their celebration of the NHS receiving 841 votes and Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre’s ‘Child who could be King, posh picnic’ in East Ayrshire took third place with 539 votes.

Jenny Mollinson, Pocket Garden Design judge, said: “St Andrews Primary School demonstrated that getting off to an early start pays dividends. Their fruit and veggies all looked well-established and looking at their descriptions of how this was achieved, they seem to have enlisted their wider community, getting plants looked after in the Easter holiday and protected from the worst of the weather we had this spring. It’s easy to appreciate that St Andrews garden really had a diverse and interesting edible component and I hope that they all manage to enjoy some of the crops very shortly!”

Eve Keepax, Senior Education and Learning Officer for Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “I would like to congratulate St Andrew’s Primary School on their pocket garden celebrating birthdays. This year’s designs were inspired by the themes of Celebration, One Planet Picnic and Wildlife Gardening and the entries we received were filled with fun, excitement and celebration. We are thrilled that so many schools and young people took part this year and had fun learning about how they can help wildlife, grow something to eat and be creative, all in sustainable ways.”

The Pocket Garden Design Competition aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Four, Learning for Sustainability and is run by Keep Scotland Beautiful as part of its Climate Action Schools framework. It gives pupils and educators a creative focus for Learning for Sustainability, STEM skills, and the Curriculum for Excellence.

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