Blue Peter Gardener Gives School Gardeners A Flying Start

Blue Peter Gardener Gives School Gardeners A Flying Start
Print this article

BBC Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins hosted a workshop with budding gardeners of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire ahead of RHS Malvern Spring Festival’s School Gardens Challenge.

Primary school children from across the counties immersed themselves in an action packed day of inspiring advice and guidance from the children’s television favourite. These aspiring young gardeners will now prepare their designs over the coming months in readiness for the leading event’s School Gardens Challenge in May. 

Ken Nottage, CEO of Three Counties, said: “We are deeply passionate about engaging the next generation of gardeners in the amazing world of horticulture. RHS Malvern Spring Festival’s School Gardens challenge is a great introduction and allows children to see their designs stand on the same stage as the country’s finest RHS medal winning designers. We never cease to be amazed by the creativity and imagination school children bring to the School Gardens Challenge. Their designs are a real highlight of the show and always receive rave reviews from our visitors. We can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring and have no doubt the designs will be just as glorious.”

RHS Malvern Spring Festival is one of the only RHS Shows in the UK to have a collection of Show Gardens designed and built entirely by young people. This year sees over 12 schools and education groups from across the three counties taking part.

Each group will create gardeners on the all-new theme of ‘Space’. The 2017 theme celebrates the 350th anniversary of Isaac Newton’s groundbreaking discovery of gravity, alongside the 60th anniversary of the launch of the world’s first satellite, Sputnik.

Chris Collins enters his third year as School Gardens Champion. He said: “I’m delighted to be taking up the post as School Gardens Champion for my third year. RHS Malvern Spring Festival is really paving the way for introducing gardening into the curriculum and the School Gardens Challenge is a fantastic way to take education outside of the classroom. I can’t wait to be involved for another year and see the variety of designs come to life.”

Worcestershire School’s that rolled up their sleeve and took part in the workshop included: Regency High School, Bromsgrove School, Cradley School, Stanley Road Primary School, Franche Community Primary School, Royal Grammar School Worcester, Beoley First School, Malvern Wells Primary School, and St Joseph’s Primary School. From Gloucestershire, schools that took part included The Ridge Academy, and Bredon School. 

Building of the school Show Gardens will commence at the end of April and will take approximately one weeks to build. RHS experts will then judge the gardens on Wednesday 10 May, ahead of the show opening to the public the following day. Following record numbers in 2016, over 100,000 people are expected to descend on the Three Counties Showground for this year’s event.

RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 will take place from Thursday 11 May until Sunday 14 May. For more information and full winners details from 2016, please call 01684 584900 or visit