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Pocket Garden

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.

We are happy to present the 'Design a One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden' competition again in 2019. Young people aged 3-18 from schools across Scotland are asked to design a colourful and exciting pocket-sized garden.  Each design must follow a design brief based on sustainability as well as illustrate annual themes. 

View the 2019 Competition Brochure

2019 themes celebrate Scotland’s landscape by linking plants and place with water and our changing climate.  They are: Rain gardens for sustainable drainage, Drought tolerant gardens, Wetland or fresh water margin gardens and Coastal gardens.  We'll be looking for designs that are good for wildlife, have food for people and that can adapt and survive our changing climate.

  • 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 children’s designs are often playful, informal, celebratory and full of clever surprises and innovative ideas. 

View the 2019 Winning Designs

Each year design competition winners are invited to build and grow their gardens to display in the Garden for Life at Gardening Scotland, creating an inspiring centre piece. 

The Garden for Life area encourages seasoned and new gardeners to adopt sustainable principles. The garden has been visited by the BBC Beechgrove Garden team, the Scottish Government Minister for the Environment, the Scottish Government Minister for Education and the Lord Provost of Edinburgh as well as thousands of gardeners.

2018 Winning Pocket Gardens

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 probelm 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.

 

One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden

Imagine a garden at Gardening Scotland, our national gardening show, designed, built and grown using principles of sustainability, full of plants you can eat as well as being good for wildlife. Imagine that it also celebrates the diversity of life across Scotland and is full of detail and humour. Now imagine that it is designed, built and grown by Scottish school pupils.

A brilliant article that originally appeared in the Caledonian Gardener, the annual magazine of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.

Download the article in full.

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