Westward Ho! | Love The Garden

Westward Ho!

John Clowes's picture
By John Clowes, Gardening Guru

Last week Jane and I headed west towards Devon for our latest trip to visit some of the schools successful enough to come to Chelsea Flower Show.

The first learning establishment on the trip was Minety Pre-School, Malmesbury in Wiltshire who created and produced three pots of veg, herbs and flowers plus three beautiful dolls that took pride of place on the 1913 garden. The figures were all made by the 3 and 4 year old children. Well done to all for such tidy stitching, and a big “thank you” for sitting in rapt attention while we showed the DVD and the still pictures of the show.

Minety Pre-School, Malmesbury
Minety Pre-School, Malmesbury

West Schools at Bradley Barton to receive RHS medals
West Schools at Bradley Barton to receive RHS medals

A bigger audience from nine different schools from Devon and Cornwall greeted us when we were guests of Bradley Barton Primary School near Newton Abbot in Devon that same evening. Around 100 Miracle-Gro’wers and teachers gathered to see the show after some welcome refreshments. The group picture was posed in front of a new flower display created by pupils of Margaret Portus, mastermind of horticultural learning at the school, representing the forthcoming Royal birth. The tiny guardsmen with fur bearskin headgear were standing to attention and the Royal characters appeared on a balcony with babe in arms. What great fun!

And what fun to meet so many schools that helped grow for the 1913 garden. Ten pupils from Stoke Climsland Primary School, near Callington travelled with supporters for more than 2 hours north east to collect their well deserved genuine RHS Silver Gilt award.

Among the schools from the Newton Abbot area that received their own Medal Card were Bradley Barton, Chudleigh Knighton and Decoy Primary Schools;  Brixham CofE Primary School, The Erme Primary School, Ivybridge;  Torre Primary School and Stoodley Knowle School from Torquay. Cornish visitors also included Roseland Community College, Tregony, Corwall. Thanks to all at Fermoys Garden Centre for all their support and for their in-store display all about Chelsea Flower Show 2013.

Fermoys Chelsea display June 2013
Fermoys Garden Centre's Chelsea display

Blaenymaes Primary School, Swansea receives Silver Gilt RHS medals
Blaenymaes Primary School, Swansea receives Silver Gilt RHS medals

After a late-night drive to South Wales, we were in Swansea the next morning for a 9.30 assembly of the whole of Blaenymaes Primary School of more than 100 pupils and staff.
As the only school from Wales that provided plants for the Miracle-Gro’wers gardens they were all mightily proud to receive their own RHS award. Afterwards we were all delighted to hear the school choir perform with rich Welsh voices and to learn of the pupil’s favourite ice cream venue. As we had an hour to spare before getting back to Wiltshire Jane persuaded me (no arm twisting involved) that it would be churlish not to visit Joe’s Ice Cream parlour. We can confidently confirm that the vanilla, made fresh every day, was truly delicious!

Jane and John in Mumbles
Jane and John in Mumbles

Wylye Coyotes After School Club, Warminster
Wylye Coyotes After School Club, Warminster

Last port of call was the Wylye Coyotes After-School Club near Warminster where growing flowers and vegetables plays an important part of educational play. Despite the rain (well it was the first day of Glastonbury) attendees from different schools in the area enjoyed our short DVD especially when they saw Olivia and Babiine being interviewed.

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