Green-fingered students learn more about Commonwealth and environmental issues as part of a gardening challenge

Green-fingered students have been learning more about the Commonwealth and environmental issues as part of a gardening challenge which will see them compete to be named best in show.

A group of 90 supported learning students from Pershore College are creating a special entry for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival School Garden Challenge.

Students who are studying land-based courses at the college are working with tutors to create ‘A walk through the Commonwealth’ garden featuring a range of flowers and plants native to Commonwealth countries, decorations, a water feature and a bistro garden furniture set.

The four-meter squared plot will also include themed bunting made by the students and a model of the Queen’s royal train which will travel around the edge of the raised beds.

Catering students are also set to create a special cream tea for when the garden is officially unveiled including homemade scones and jam made using fruits grown at the college.

The garden will be carbon-negative, and the college is not only using the competition as an opportunity to develop the students’ practical skills, but also as a way to learn more about the Commonwealth and the environment.

The RHS Malvern Spring Festival is set to take place at the Three Counties Showground between May 5 and 8 where the winner will be announced.

Louise Badham, Head of Department for Supported Learning, Re-Engagement and Schools (Worcestershire) at WCG, said: “The School Garden Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for our students to create a show garden and learn about some important topics.

“The students are all aged 14 and above with special educational needs, and horticulture is proven to be very therapeutic.

“They have done an incredible amount of research into the Commonwealth to design the garden and have built it with very little support from their tutors. The research also got students talking about issues such as diversity and equality.

“We have also been keen to focus on the environment and highlight the importance of carbon reduction, with all of the hard landscaping made from recycled materials, the water feature being solar powered and the catering students making jam from fruit we have grown at the college.

“Students will also be in attendance at the show, supported by staff, which will benefit their wider social skills.

“We’re now looking forward to seeing the final elements of the garden come together and welcoming the professional team of RHS garden judges ahead of the event.”

To find out more about courses at Pershore College visit www.wcg.ac.uk/study