One Giant Leaf for Mankind

RGS pupils from Year Seven and Year Eight built and displayed a show garden at the Royal Horticultural Society Malvern Spring Festival 2017. For the last six months, Emma Pickersgill, Hattie Clarke, Katie Downes, Lillian Heyburn and Issy Pepperall have been attending the School’s new Gardening Club to create the show garden. They have been guided by Ms Louise Mawditt from Angel Gardens, and supported by Miss Marsh and Mr Phillips.

The theme of all the school gardens this year was ‘Space’, and our garden was named ‘One Giant LEAF for Mankind’ thanks to Lillian. This alone attracted much comment and amusement at the Festival. The girls designed the garden themselves and the plans, drawn by Emma, were submitted to the RHS in November. Since then work has been on-going: planting seeds, sourcing plants and, with the help of Mr Holt and the DT Department, constructing the ‘International Bug Station’ from a recycled door-frame and light fittings. In an effort to ensure the garden met with competition’s rules on recycled material, the other structure was created from scrap duct pipes riveted together. Both proved to be real talking points at the Festival.

Finally, the girls, staff and parents met up at the Three Counties Showground to construct the garden so that all was ready for the judging on Wednesday 10 May. As part of the competition, RHS judges quizzed three of the girls, scrutinised all the details in the planting and application of the design before awarding us a ‘Commendation’, which was a fantastic result for our very first garden.

Over the four days of the RHS Malvern Spring Festival, our garden was extremely busy as we explained the process and the ideas behind it to the visitors to the Festival. There were many highlights over the four days: we were guided in gardening know-how by the Blue Peter Gardener, Chris Collins, who gave an interview on Saturday to BBC Hereford and Worcester featuring our garden as an example; whilst, on Sunday, the garden was visited by BBC ‘Gardeners’ World’ presenter, Joe Swift, who spent time discussing the different elements of the garden with us. He, like other visitors, was impressed by the presentation, structure and ideas behind the show garden.

This was a fantastic project and the garden will be reconstructed in School for everyone to see after half term. We also have four new raised beds in School to use for future projects. The RGS garden is certainly blooming!

Miss Joanna Marsh, Head of Lower School Co-Curricular Activities