Creating a show garden that incorporated over 30 schools' ideas into one show garden was not an easy task but supported by LTL, the garden designer Chris Beardshaw managed to create a garden that not only won a top award at the show but also amazed and motivated all those who visited it.
What was really great about the garden was that it demonstrated so many different ways school grounds can be used for teaching and learning - and each was a real-life example from a UK school. LTL's miracle-working project manager managed the garden programme from inception right up to its safe removal to Birmingham Botanical Gardens ensuring that there was a wide selection of ideas that could be replicated by schools and early years settings. There is also a fantastic website that explains how all the different features and elements were made and how they can be used for teaching and learning.
Over the week of the show pupils from the schools that helped design the garden came and showed visitors how they use their own grounds. There were pupils dancing around the grounds, others creating labyrinths and making flour from wheat grown in their own grounds; some were testing solar ovens for temperature rises whilst still more were planting hanging baskets.
The garden hosted hundreds of visitors from around Britain, and everyone seemed excited by what they had seen - or so their comments on our garden blackboard told us. Each wished their school grounds had been like the Growing Schools Garden and many planned to return to their children, or grand-children's schools to see what could be taken back home and recreated in their school grounds.