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Mintey Pre-school wins silver at Chelsea Flower Show
4:00pm Saturday 26th May 2012 in Malmesbury
Children and staff at Minety Pre-school have fought off competition nationally to win a silver medal at the Chelsea Flower Show.
They vied with children throughout the country to create a garden with a variety of fruit, salads and vegetables, having received compost, containers and grow bags as part of the contest.
Minety Pre-school was one of just 20 successful entries from around 1,500 applicants to Miracle Gro’wers Chelsea Flower Show Competition and set its garden in a 1950s army trunk.
The pre-school’s Forest School leader, Stuart Jackson, said: “The RHS campaign to get more schools into gardens sent out free compost for us to plan a journey.
“The children drew a plan all together, made a collage for the background and decided everything in the garden should be edible.
“One child said there should be a scarecrow to scare the birds from eating the vegetables so we put the children’s faces in the garden.
“It’s been very inspiring. I sold it to them because the picture had the Queen and Duke visiting the show and this is almost part of the Jubilee celebrations, and the Queen saw their garden today.
“It’s been a real children’s thing, they’ve done everything. It’s been a really lovely journey with them.”
The crop was chosen by the children and grown and planted by them with minimum input from the staff. Every item is edible, with beetroot, peas, broad beans, onions, salad leaves, radish, marigolds and rocket.
The design and end result won over the judge, gardening expert Peter Seabrook, after just one photo, and the Silver Flora Medal was awarded on Tuesday.
Mr Jackson said: “We do whoops here, and when we told the children earlier they had got the medal it was very loud.”
Minety Pre-school, which currently has 41 youngsters aged between 18 months and four years, has a keen interest in outdoor learning with its own allotment and visits to the forest. It has even been rewarded with prizes from the RHS including £30 worth of hand tools, and £250 to be spent on garden materials.
“The children love to be outside. We’ve really tried to sell the garden and it has worked well this year. My philosophy is it’s the children’s garden. It can look mis-matched but it’s their garden,” said Mr Jackson.