BBC Blue Peter Gardener Gives Helping Hand To School Gardens Challenge

BBC Blue Peter Gardener Gives Helping Hand To School Gardens Challenge
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BBC BLUE PETER gardener Chris Collins has been named as RHS Malvern Spring Festival’s School Gardens Champion for the 2nd year running.

Aspiring young gardeners preparing to exhibit in May this year will once again benefit from Chris’s expertise in horticulture while Phil Eves from BAM Construct Ltd will help with the garden construction.

Chris Collins said of accepting his role as Champion: “I couldn’t be happier to have been asked to take on the role of School Gardens Champion. I thoroughly enjoyed myself last year and was really impressed with the standard of gardens that the children produced. I really enjoy the innovative way children interpret a theme, they always think out of the box which is so refreshing. I'm really looking forward to the show in May and seeing the gardens come to life. Building these show gardens will give the kids a real insight into practical gardening and give them memories that they will treasure forever.”

The RHS Malvern Spring Festival, which takes place from May 7 until May 10, is the only RHS Show in the UK to have a collection of Show Gardens designed and built entirely by young people. This year sees 10 schools and educational groups from across the three counties taking part. Each group will create gardens on the theme ‘Route To The Hills’. Youngsters from playgroups up to pupils in Year 13 are taking part.

Sue Verdeyen, Education Officer for the Three Counties Showground said: “At RHS Malvern Spring Festival, we are passionate about inspiring young people to fall in love with gardening and design. We are very proud to be the only RHS show that has a project specifically for schools. It’s a great opportunity for the children to get some hands on experience into the design, horticultural and construction industries.

“These youngsters are involved in every aspect of creating their gardens; the design, the sowing and the growing of their own plants and the hard landscaping. They have some great ideas and we can’t wait to see how the gardens are going to take shape.”

The RHS Malvern School Gardens Challenge was created in 2008 by Sue Verdeyen and Phil Eves from BAM Construct Ltd. It was set up to introduce young children from toddlers to teenagers to the world of horticulture in all its forms. Horticulture engages with many subjects of the national curriculum: scientific, creative and physical and the project exposes children to the practical application of these in a fun and informative way.

Last year the RHS Malvern School Gardens Challenge was honored with two awards. Sue Verdeyen was named as LoTC Innovator of the Year and BAM Construct Ltd, the main sponsor of the category was awarded the Big Tick from BITC for their work with the project. Sue is also a STEM ambassador, encouraging children into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths arenas.

2015 welcomes schools from across the three counties taking part with 10 different educational establishments being offered a space to exhibit. Building of the school Show Gardens will commence at the end of April and will take approximately three weeks. The gardens will then be judged by RHS experts on May 6, the day before the RHS Malvern Spring Festival opens to the public.

An estimated 90,000 visitors are expected to descend on RHS Malvern over the four-day show.

The RHS Malvern Spring Festival will take place from Thursday May 7 until Sunday May 10. Tickets are now on sale. Advanced tickets are priced from £15 for RHS and Three Counties members and from £16 for non-members. Tickets are available on the gate from £19. For information on ticket prices and celebrity appearances please visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk or call 01684 230128