Wonderful news! The Year 3’s wildlife garden for the Royal Horticultural Society Wisley’s ‘Budding Gardeners’ for schools competition has won the Acorn Award for Best in Show for KS2!
Ms Appleby, Mrs Brett and Year 3 decided to enter the competition in February; they started researching to find out as much as they could about plants that attract wildlife. From looking through gardening books and magazines the girls were able to plan and sketch out designs. They sowed seeds, which the girls nurtured on their classroom windowsill. Then they prepared the small raised bed up on the school allotment.
The Year 3s were very excited about learning to sculpt using willow. With the help of Mrs Brett, and they created beautiful butterflies. From their willow creations, they hung homemade bird feeders made from Cranwell pine cones, lard and seed. They made a bug hotel from natural things found in the grounds and cut hazel to make tee-pees for sweet peas and French beans to climb. The girls prepared the 1m x 1m bed using compost from the school compost heap.
The keen gardeners worked together to lay out the plants to match their design. There was a mix of herbs, edible plants, vegetables, grass, wildflowers, some annuals like cosmos and trees. They added a mini path made from slices of wood, on which the names of all the plants were written. To protect the garden from marauding deer (even though they love them “dearly!”), they placed a netted cage over the garden. Year 3 then tended their wildlife haven proudly and with gentle care, until it was ready to be transported to RHS Wisley in Surrey.
On Thursday afternoon, Year 3 loaded up Mrs Brett’s car and she got up very early on Friday to take the precious garden on a 2-hour journey to Wisley. She very carefully set it up among 45 other entries ready for the judging at 12 noon, and then waited in anticipation for the results. After much pacing up and down looking at all the impressive gardens, the winners were announced! Year 3 of the Royal High Junior School Bath were the overall winners and awarded with a gold medal and a prize*! The judges praised the garden’s natural theme and noted how it attracted many kinds of wildlife.
A book of photographs showing every stage of the process was applauded as it displayed wonderful hard work and team effort. Well done Year 3, we are so proud!
Ms Appleby and Mrs Brett