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Blooming success: Two Aberdeen schools win garden design competition

Pupils from Cornhill Primary School and St Margaret's School for Girls won a national garden design competition.
Pupils from Cornhill Primary School and St Margaret's School for Girls won a national garden design competition.

Pupils from two Aberdeen schools have displayed their growing design skills by winning a garden design competition.

The annual Pocket Garden design competition selected winners from Cornhill Primary School and St Margaret’s School for Girls.

Running for seven years now, the competition received 340 entries across Scotland. Of those who applied, 45 won a place in the digital showcase which will be available to be viewed from Wednesday June 8.

Schools challenged pupils to create environmentally friendly designs for a tiny garden. Each garden had to tell a story, reflecting the themes, One Planet Picnic and Wildlife Gardening, of the 2022 Year of Stories.

A good way of reducing isolation

Outreach Coordinator for Scottish Book trust, Ella McClellan was involved in this year’s judging for the competition.

She said: “I was delighted when I was asked if I would help to judge this year’s Pocket Garden design competition, because it combines two things I feel really passionate about, reading and nature. Both share really positive commonalities.

“Reading books that you love and spending time in nature are both proven ways of reducing stress and anxiety. Delving into new worlds through books, or discovering the vibrant wildlife around you, can also help you to feel less isolated and lonely.

“This lovely project brings both together, in a powerfully beneficial combination and I have really enjoyed ‘reading’ these garden narratives. It has been exciting to see the creative experimental gardens in this competition, ones that are unique to the young people who have designed them.”

Encouraging children to tell their own stories

Children from as young as three were asked to design a colourful and sustainable garden. The winning garden from Cornhill Primary School tells the story of Alice in Wonderland using edible Eat me and Drink me herbs and included reused materials.

Pupils from St Margaret’s School for Girls also employed a range of edible plants and created a three-dimensional design.

Nicola Davidson, education and learning officer for Keep Scotland Beautiful said: “This year’s competition has encouraged children to tell their own stories, a wonderful part of our culture, through their garden designs.

“The Pocket Garden designs we received were practical, creative, challenging, sustainable and full of fun.”

The winning Pocket Gardens will be available to look at in the digital showcase from June 8 here. Voting for the nation’s favourite Pocket Garden will run from then until June 20.

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