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Pocket Garden

The 2021 Pocket Garden Design Competition IS OPEN!

We are asking young people aged 3-18 from schools across Scotland to design a colourful and exciting pocket-sized garden.  Each design must follow the design brief based on sustainability as well as illustrate the themes. 

Many of us in 2020 discovered the joy of growing something and noticing the natural world on our doorsteps. This 2021 Pocket Garden Design Competition builds on those positive experiences, linking garden design with health and hope for the future. 

This Activities at Home sheet has lots of activities around the competition themes for children to try at home.  You can use it to inspire ideas for a pocket garden design for the competition.

The 2021 Year of Coasts and Waters is one of the competition themes this year together with Celebrating Nature on Your Doorstep, One Planet Picnic and Wildlife Gardening.  Winners will be invited to build and grow their gardens to display at Scotland’s exciting new national gardening show, The Scottish Garden Show at Scone Palace. 

View the 2021 Competition Brochure

 

We are excited to present a version of Pocket Garden to have fun with at home.  It is called Pop-up Pocket Garden and there is a handy guide to download with ideas and information.

Have a look at the Pocket Garden Stories from previous years for ideas and inspiration. The children’s designs are often playful, informal, celebratory and full of clever surprises and innovative ideas. Previous years themes were:

  • 2019 Rain gardens for sustainable drainage, Drought tolerant gardens, Wetland or fresh water margin gardens and Coastal gardens
  • 2018 the United Nations Global Goals
  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

The Garden for Life Forum and Keep Scotland Beautiful have worked together since 2016 to support Scotland’s’ young people to create the Garden for Life (previously called The Living Garden) area at our national gardening show.

 

2019 Winning Pocket Gardens

Winners were selected in each of the three themes: Best Garden for One Planet Picnic Theme, Best for Wildlife, and Best for Water.  A public vote decided the winner of My Favourite Garden.  In 2019 there were also two gardens receiving Special Commendation.

Best Garden: One Planet Picnic Theme

Bun Sgoil Stafainn, Portree

This Pocket Garden was a 'Wetland of Wonder', from the reed beds that filter and clean water, and the carbon locked up in the peat to the life that thrives on the common grazing beside the school. A raised up potager garden helps resolve the problem of growing vegetables in wet and soggy ground.

Best Garden for Wildlife

Noblehill Primary, Dumfries


Creature Comforts are satisfied here whether you're a hedgehog, a toad, a bee, a bird or a person. There's homes for all the wildlife and a picnic area for the people.  This is a park for wildlife that is also clever with water, using buried pipes and organic material to retain water in times of drought. 

 

Best Garden: Water Theme

Hermitage Academy, Helensburgh

This Pocket Garden is in praise of compost.  Adding compost to soil helps it to retain moisture. This compost bin garden has walls planted with Chives (for bees), nettles (for soup) and plants to represent the native landscape of Argyll and Bute. Senior pupils each plant a seed to contribute to the garden and provide a reminder of their time at Hermitage Academy.

My Favourite Garden: Public Vote

Joint Winner: Families Growing Together, Dumfermline

This Pocket Garden is a Rain Garden for holding on to rain to help reduce the severity of flooding in heavy downpours.  Even the scarecrow's hat and hands become water collectors. Wellington boots here are for keeping water in, not out and a leaky hose puts water straight to the roots of the salad crops.

 

My Favourite Garden: Public Vote

Joint Winner - Noblehill Primary, Dumfries

Creature Comforts are satisfied here whether you're a hedgehog, a toad, a bee, a bird or a person. There's homes for all the wildlife and a picnic area for the people.  This is a park for wildlife that is also clever with water, using buried pipes and organic material to retain water in times of drought. 

Special Commendation:

Grove Academy, Dundee 

This 'Story Boat' garden reminds us of our coastal industry heritage, and looks ahead to ways we can take care of our coastal and marine wildlife. On board this SS Alba you'll be transported to the coast among plants of the machair.  You can lift the sails of the boat to find out more about this precious habitat and how to protect it.

Special Commendation:

St Peter's Primary, Galashiels

A haven for quiet contemplation this garden combines spirals and calming herbs. The scents of chamomile, lavender and thyme combine to create a garden where you can let your worries flow away.

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