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Budding junior gardeners invited to take up pocket garden challenge

By Alan Beresford

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YOUNGSTERS across the north-east are being challenged to design their own mini-gardens as part of a new competition.

Kids from as young as three can submit their pocket garden designs. Picture: Keep Scotland Beautiful
Kids from as young as three can submit their pocket garden designs. Picture: Keep Scotland Beautiful

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful have launched a nationwide contest to find pupils to participate in the sixth annual Pocket Garden Design Competition.

Children from as young as three are being challenged to design a colourful and sustainable garden that could feature at the Scottish Gardens Show at Scone Palace in late May if restrictions allow, and if not in an interactive online garden showcase.

Many people have found joy as they rediscovered the nature on their doorsteps during lockdown, and the competition encourages young people to celebrate that through their designs.

Following the great success of Pocket Gardens in past years, schools from across Scotland are being encouraged to take part and develop designs for a tiny garden which reflect the four interlinked 2021 themes. These themes include The Year of Coasts and Waters, One Planet Picnic, Wildlife Gardening and Health and Wellbeing through noticing nature.

Eve Keepax, Education and Learning Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “It’s a great competition with new opportunities.

"This year an Activities at Home sheet is available to inspire children to get involved while learning at home. We are excited to work with Scotland’s brand-new national gardening event – The Scottish Gardens Show at Scone Palace – to celebrate and share the innovation and creativity of Scotland’s young garden designers.

“This competition over the years has inspired entries from across the country and we hope that in 2021 it gives parents and educators a new focus as we continue a blended mix of home and in school learning.”

Anthony McCluskey, Chair of the Garden for Life Forum, who will be involved in the judging, commented:“[The] 2020 winners, that were not able to display their pocket gardens last year when the event was cancelled due to lockdown, will join winning Pocket Gardens from 2021.

"Double joy – winning designs from two years to see.”

Brian Cunningham, Head Gardener at Scone Palace and organiser of The Scottish Garden Show, added: “One of the aims of The Scottish Gardens Show is to showcase approaches to gardening that benefit the health of both people and the planet and it is crucial to involve children and young people as part of the life blood of the show.

"The Pocket Gardens are a perfect fit and I’m looking forward to the inspiration and fun they will bring to the show.”

Pupils are invited to submit their entries no later than March 17, 2021 to oneplanetpicnic@keepscotlandbeautiful.org

Further information and inspiration from past years can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/pocketgarden

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