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St Palladius Primary School pocket garden wins public vote

22 June 2021

More than 11,000 votes are cast to select the nation’s favourite pocket garden

Pupils from St Palladius Primary, Dalry, North Ayrshire have scooped the public’s vote for their Pocket Garden which they designed and built as part of our nationwide competition.

Children, from as young as three, were challenged to design a colourful and sustainable garden that could feature at the Scottish Gardens Show at Scone Palace in late May. Sadly, the show was cancelled due to Covid restrictions. However, the entrants grew and built their gardens to be showcased and voted for online.

With just over 13% of the popular vote, the entry from, St Palladius Primary School was designed to be edible and enjoyed by minibeasts, humans and aliens alike.

In second place with 11.72% of the public vote was Greenhills Primary School, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire. Followed by Ballerup Nursery Centre in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire with 7.62%.

As a prize the three entrants with the most public votes will all be offered a consultation with the competition judges to help them consider, plan and create improvements at an area of the school grounds for biodiversity, or food growing.

This is the sixth Pocket Garden competition and one of the silver linings of the setbacks caused by restrictions has been to bring the wonder of them to people in their homes via a screen.  This allowed so many people to enjoy and celebrate the inspiring ideas of young people across Scotland.

More than 7,500 people voted for their favourite Pocket Garden and every school that participated received a share of the vote, in what was an amazing showcase, supported online by young people and their schools and wider communities.  

Eve Keepax, our Education and Learning Officer, said, “It has been inspiring to see the range of fantastic learning and teaching generated by designing and creating these Pocket Gardens.  The children have shown imaginative and collaborative problem solving, practical application of ideas, resilience in facing challenges, as well as creating low-carbon, wildlife friendly gardens that are full of fun.  In addition to all this quality education, there are corners in school grounds across Scotland that are brighter, better for wildlife, with some tasty things for us to eat.’

Anthony McCluskey, Chair of the Garden for Life Forum, who was involved in the judging, said, “We have been so impressed by the dedication of the schools and the children taking part in this competition. They have been able to design and create gardens that would stand out at any show, despite all of the challenges posed by the pandemic. The fact that all of the gardens provide both food for humans and shelter and food for wildlife shows that we can make more space for nature in our gardens while sustaining ourselves, and we hope that these gardeners of the future will continue to garden with wildlife in mind.”

All gardens connected to one of four interlinked 2021 themes - The Year of Coasts and Waters, One Planet Picnic, Wildlife Gardening and Celebrating Nature on our Doorstep.  And, in addition to the public vote winners, Certificates of Achievement were presented to five schools for excellence in the translation from design to garden.  They were: Meldrum Academy, Aberdeenshire, Applegarth & Hutton Primary School, Dumfries and Galloway, Ullapool Primary School, Highland, Whinhill Primary School, Inverclyde and Glenlyon Primary School, Perth and Kinross.

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