Tilehurst Horticultural Association

Schools' Challenge

Following the kind donation from the collection at the funeral of former allotmenteer and horticultural judge Mervyn Taylor, we decided to use the money the THA received to encourage our gardeners of the future. We invited primary schools within Tilehurst to take part in a challenge, looking for the best school garden, judged against the following criteria - Presentation & Tidiness, Evidence of Pupil Involvement, Quality of Plants and Eco-friendliness. 

The Committee felt that this would be an appropriate use of the legacy, since one of the aims of the Association is "to arrange for instruction in horticulture" and we hoped to be able to inspire children who may not have access to gardening at home. 

The winners of the Challenge were Springfield Primary School, closely followed by Moorlands Primary School.  Both schools received a certificate to mark their achievement, together with a cheque to spend on their garden, and Springfield were also presented with a cup.  

The winning school, guided by teachers Fiona Watson and Ros Somerville, demonstrated an extraordinary enthusiasm for their garden project, showing the judges an album put together with photographs of their journey, together with a guided tour of their garden.  It was evident that the children had an understanding of the importance of conservation and they showed a good knowledge of the plants in their care.  The project involved a large number of children involved, both as part of the curriculum and in extra-curricular activities.  Leo, Riley and Lillian were proud to accept the award on behalf of Springfield Primary School. 

The garden of the runners up contained a good quality and range of plants, together with some innovative recycling ideas.  Their children had been introduced to the flavour of fresh peas  and raspberries from the garden.  The gardening club is led by Gill Mills and Alison Fletcher, both members of the THA.  Gill, accompanied by Heidi and Izzie, accepted the certificate and cheque on behalf of Moorlands Primary School. 

The  aim of the challenge was to kindle an interest in gardening and increase pupils' knowledge of the gardening cycle and we hope to have achieved this. 

© 2020 Tilehurst Horticultural Association
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