Skip to main content

Youngsters from across Scotland bloom in pocket garden challenge

10 March 2022

Pupils from 43 Scottish schools have shown their budding design skills by winning our seventh annual Pocket Garden Design Competition. 

Following the huge success of the online showcase in 2021, when 38 design winners were displayed to allow a public vote, this year we received 340 entries from across Scotland. Of these 45 have won a place in a digital showcase.

Schools developed environmentally friendly designs for a tiny garden telling a story, reflecting the themes of the 2022 Year of Stories, One Planet Picnic and Wildlife Gardening. The competition is run in partnership with the Garden for Life Forum and this year, also Scottish Book Trust as a celebration of the Year of Stories. 

Stories are a vital part of culture and community from well-loved tales of family and friends to famous fictional characters: they all give a sense of place, history and belonging. There are fables, legends, folklore, news stories, novels, fairy stories, investigative journalism, and myths to draw inspiration from and the young people celebrated that through their imaginative competition entries.

Young people, from as young as three, were challenged to design a colourful and sustainable garden. The winners will now build their pallet-sized gardens and photograph and film them so they will be available to view in an online showcase, where the nation will also be able to vote for their favourite Pocket Garden.

Nicola Davidson, our Education and Learning Officer, said: “This year’s competition has encouraged children to tell their own stories, a wonderful part of our culture, through their garden designs. We are delighted that schools and young people are finding the benefits of this competition in learning, teaching and celebrating things that are important to them and their environment. The Pocket Garden designs we received were practical, creative, challenging, sustainable and full of fun!”

Ella McClellan, Outreach Coordinator for Scottish Book Trust, who was involved in the judging, said: “I was delighted when I was asked if I would help to judge this year’s Pocket Garden design competition, because it combines two things I feel really passionate about, reading and nature. Both share really positive commonalities. Reading books that you love and spending time in nature are both proven ways of reducing stress and anxiety. Delving into new worlds through books, or discovering the vibrant wildlife around you, can also help you to feel less isolated and lonely. This lovely project brings both together, in a powerfully beneficial combination and I have really enjoyed ‘reading’ these garden narratives. It has been exciting to see the creative experimental gardens in this competition, ones that are unique to the young people who have designed them.”

The winning Pocket Gardens will be available to view in the digital showcase from Wednesday 8 June on the Pocket Garden Showcase 2022 webpage. Voting for the nation’s favourite Pocket Garden will be open from 8 – 20 June. Until then, take a look at winning gardens from previous years.


We support the