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Newbury In Bloom.....The Winner Is!

Newbury In Bloom.....The Winner Is!

Newbury in Bloom 2017, schools category, Rivar Sponsors, Sponsorship

St John the Evalgelist Win

Rivar Sand and Gravel had the pleasure in sponsoring the schools category of Newbury in Bloom this year and we were so impressed by the quality of the gardens the children produced. 

Three schools entered, and this is what Judge and Rivar representative Samantha Carpenter had to say at the presentation evening last night.

Hello, I am Samantha Carpenter and I work at Rivar Sand and Gravel, this year Rivar had the honour of sponsoring the Schools category of Newbury In Bloom, and I had the pleasure of being involved in the working party and then judging.

Never having judged anything before I had no idea what to expect, I love the creations that my own children create but that is with the blinkered eyes of a mother that would love a pile of mud with a stick thrown in for good measure.

Our first school to visit was St Josephs who reluctantly showed us round their garden that “they” though was not good enough to enter the competition, we were taken round a beautiful haven of a garden in which the children had grown some impressive courgettes and potatoes, we loved the herb bed which had calls to action for the children like “what can you smell” and an information board of the herbs planted and their uses.

Whilst reclaiming the garden from the wilds large tyres had been unearthed which in keeping with the recycling theme had been converted into planters for sweet peas.

The reason the school didn’t think they should enter the competition was the lack of flowers, poppy seeds sown earlier in the year had failed to germinate, but during the judging it transpired that none of the poppy seeds sown anywhere in the area had taken. This just goes to show how tricky it can be to accomplish a vision when you are dealing with mother nature.

Regardless of the lack of poppies, the children at St Joseph’s school have shown us how beautiful and tranquil a garden can be without the “bloom” effect.

The second school we visited was St John the Evangelist where we were met by some lovely pupils who were eager to show us their garden. They showed us their initial drawings for a “River of Life” and explained how they executed their plans to create a beautiful garden bursting with interest and colour.

The children were tasked with making garden creatures from recycled objects, parents rose to the challenge and drunk “plenty” of Prosecco so the children could create bees and ladybirds to inhabit the garden, along with bottle fish and plastic bag flowers again in keeping with the theme this year.

With painted pebbles representing the water, it was clear to see the children’s vision come to life, and we were impressed with how much time and thought had been put into the garden.

The third and final visit was to Falkland School, where we met staff and children at Wash Common Allotments in which they have a school plot where children are taken down weekly come rain or shine, to weed plant and take care of an array of fruit, veg and flowers.

The children took immediate control of us judges and their enthusiasm was infectious! The Children were so knowledgeable in their gardening know how that they answered our questions clearly and concisely, with a confidence that only comes from really knowing and loving gardening.

A highlight of our visit was the “Cucamelons” that the children had grown, this was a new one on us, a cross between a melon and a cucumber with a lime aftertaste, it goes to show that if you have the tenacity you can have a go at growing anything. Along with cucalemons and the other beautiful produce including the more typical runner beans that the children had grown, we came away truly inspired.

This judging experience was been wonderful albeit very difficult! It is so interesting to see how three schools have created such completely different gardens and how staff are helping their children learn and grow in these nurturing environments out of the classroom.

Locations we cover:

(From our Hare Hatch Depot:) Reading, Twyford, Henley, Peppard, Kidmore End, Sonning Common, Shiplake, Wargrave, Sonning, Maidenhead, Marlow, Holyport, Windsor, Bray, Binfield

(From our Thatcham Depot:) Pangbourne, Theale, Bradfield, Padworth, Beenham, Aldermaston, Woolhampton, Bucklebury, Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford, Kintbury

(From our Tadley Depot:) Basingstoke, Tadley, Oakley, Baughurst, Chineham, Hook, Kingsclere, Headley, Yateley, Hartley Wintney, Heckfield, Basing, Wasing, Whitchurch, Overton, Litchfield

(From our Windlesham Depot:) Ascot, Binfield, Bracknell, Wokingham, Sunninghill, Sunningdale, Virginia Water, Egham, Staines, Windlesham, Bagshot, Camberley

and everywhere in between...