Schools prepare to showcase their gardening skills at the Suffolk Show during half-term week

Pupils from Great Barton C of E Primary Academy choosing the plants they will planting in their Show

Pupils from Great Barton C of E Primary Academy choosing the plants they will planting in their Show Garden at the Suffolk Show. - Credit: Archant

Primary school pupils from across the county will be showcasing their skills in gardening and landscape design at this year’s Suffolk Show.

Freya Stevenson, 11, choosing a plant for the school’s Show Garden at the Suffolk Show.

Freya Stevenson, 11, choosing a plant for the schools Show Garden at the Suffolk Show. - Credit: Archant

Children from the Great Barton C of E Primary Academy are among six schools taking part in the 2016 Schools Show Garden Competition and have been tasked with designing and building a 3m x 3m sized show garden which follows the theme of wildlife in the garden.

Fifteen pupils from Great Barton have been preparing for the challenge since January, during their after-school gardening club. The green-fingered children – all aged seven to 11 – have been busy contacting local nurseries and garden companies, arranging visits to learn about different plants and choosing the ones which will be best for their garden.

They have also created a visual 3D map of their garden and are currently in the process of making features such as a bird ‘helipad’, beehive, bug hotel and mole houses out of recycled materials. Pupils will be building their show garden at the Suffolk Show the week before the event, which takes place this year on Wednesday, June 1 and Thursday, June 2 at Trinity Park near Ipswich.

Year 6 teacher Claire Ratley said the children were “very excited” to be taking part.


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“They’ve really enjoyed the process of planning and designing the space, and have got right into the spirit of the wildlife theme,” she said.

Show director Bill Baker said: “The wonderful entries to the Schools Show Garden competition will be proudly on display just outside the Glasswells Flower & Garden Experience at this year’s event. We’re very much looking forward to seeing the schools’ creations and we look forward to crowning the competition winner.”

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Each of the show gardens will be judged on the first day of the Show and the winning school will be presented with a bird feeding station, while the other schools involved in the competition will receive a set of gardening tools.

The Schools Show Garden competition is organised by the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) which provides schools taking part with a grant to help with the costs of shrubs, plants and other materials.

This year, the SAA has also partnered with Rougham Hall Nurseries near Bury St Edmunds, which has offered each school £100 worth of plants, bulbs and seeds.

Discounted tickets for this year’s Suffolk Show are now available – save £6 by booking in advance online or call the ticket hotline on 01473 707117.

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