Green-fingered pupils impress the judges

Aylesbury In Bloom school garden competition - best garden overall, Haydon Abbey Combined School.

Aylesbury In Bloom school garden competition - best garden overall, Haydon Abbey Combined School.

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A record number of entries was submitted for this year’s Aylesbury In Bloom school garden competition.

Aylesbury Town Council organises the competition and over two days volunteer judges Geoff, Sandra and Janet as well as Cllr Summers and Cllr Moore visited the schools to see their wonderful gardens.

Aylesbury In Bloom school garden competition - Turnfurlong Infant, Ann Miles Shield winners. Pictures: Maurice Cousins.

Aylesbury In Bloom school garden competition - Turnfurlong Infant, Ann Miles Shield winners. Pictures: Maurice Cousins.

All judges said how impressed they were with the children’s enthusiasm, knowledge and pride in their crops.

They said: “The standard was exceptionally high this year and a big increase was seen in the Best Edible Garden categories. Some fine produce could be seen ranging from courgettes, potatoes and onions to peas, beans and strawberries, with many varieties in lots of schools.”

All participating schools were invited by Aylesbury Town Council and the Aylesbury Gardening Society to receive their awards on Thursday, July 17, for the garden competition and Potato Growing Challenge, which is organised by the gardening society.

Town Mayor, Cllr Allison Harrison, Deputy Mayor, Cllr Barbara Russel, Aylesbury Gardening Society chairman, Ken Keasley and president Ray James welcomed the pupils together with their teachers and parents.

It was a great evening and Turnfurlong Infant School received first prize and the Ann Miles Shield for heaviest combined weight of potatoes from the Aylesbury Gardening Society.

The focus moved on to the winners and runner ups of the various categories of the school garden competition.

Turnfurlong Junior School won Best Edible Garden, Haydon Abbey Combined School won Best Wildlife Nature Garden, Stocklake Park School received first prize for Best Recreational and Learning Garden and Harding House received first prize for Best Garden in a Pot.

Cllr Harrison also gave out special awards for Best Start-Up, which was awarded to Harding House School. The students started up their garden and filled it with an array of containers and pots ranging from sinks and toilets to Wellington Boots, which were all planted up and decorated.

The Spade for Best Overall Garden went to Haydon Abbey Combined School, who impressed the judges with their Wildlife and Edible Garden and their enthusiasm. Achieving nearly full marks from all judges Haydon Abbey was a well-deserved winner said the judges.

Cllr Harrison said: “It is great to know that we have so many budding gardeners in our schools, who sow, grow and nurture their fruits, vegetables and flowers.

“I would like to thank the teachers, parents and grandparents who encourage the children with their work and who give up their time to help at gardening clubs. I am already looking forward to next year to see how all the gardens have developed.”