A green-fingered Kirkintilloch pupil is in the running to be named the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) School Gardener of the Year 2016.
Five-year-old Louisa Mossman, from St Mary’s Nursery School, Kirkintilloch, is competing in the 5-7 year-old category of the national competition and is battling against three other young gardeners for the coveted title. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony at the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship RHS Garden Wisley in July.
Louisa, who is the youngest of the contestants in her category, has demonstrated a love and commitment to growing and caring for St Mary’s Nursery School Garden throughout the year.
She has shown great patience and passion growing seedlings in the nursery’s re-cycled bottle greenhouse, ensuring they have adequate water and warmth. Over the summer months, when the nursery is closed, she has continued to care for the garden, ensuring that the plants and flowers are well watered.
Speaking about her love of gardening Early Years Practitioner Wendy Maguire said: “Louisa is passionate about all aspects of gardening, and has also displayed a keen interest in encouraging bees and butterflies to visit by planting heather and wild flower seeds. She has painted some beautiful pictures of the butterflies which have been attracted to the garden as a result.”
“Our nursery is in the heart of a busy town and many people have commented on Louisa’s enthusiasm when she participates in gardening activities in the community. There are five circular tubs in the town centre which had fallen into disrepair and with Louisa’s help they are now cleaned, painted and flourishing with five different themed planting schemes.”
As a finalist Louisa will need to create a five-minute video showcasing her passion for gardening, the gardening work she’s undertaken in her school, and testimonials about her love of gardening from teachers and fellow pupils who work alongside her in the school garden.
The other age groups represented in the competition are: 7 – 11; 11 – 14; 14 – 16. The contest also includes categories to identify the School Gardening Team and School Gardening Champion of the year.
In June a panel of gardening experts including TV gardener Frances Tophill, gardening editor at The Sun newspaper Peter Seabrook and RHS 2015 School Gardening champion Peter Edwards will judge the entries to identify their category winners.
As a category finalist Louisa will receive a digital camera to make her short film, which she can keep. She will also receive a specially engraved hand trowel, while her nursery school will receive a £10 Thompson & Morgan seed voucher.
Each overall category winner will receive a £25 Thompson & Morgan seed voucher, a set of gardening tools and £250 worth of National Garden Gift vouchers for their school. In addition, the category winners, their proposers and another adult will also be invited to RHS Garden Wisley for the prize-giving ceremony in July.
Should Louisa win the overall title and be crowned RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2016, she will have the opportunity to spend a day working with RHS gardeners and receive tickets for either the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017 or RHS Tatton Park Flower Show 2017. As part of the prize her school will receive £100 worth of Thompson & Morgan seeds and an extra £250 in National Garden Gift vouchers.
To find out more about what the RHS is looking for, view the 2015 finalists’ videos on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/user/RHSSchoolGardening