One of my highlights of last year was taking part in the RHS Schools Green Plan It Challenge as a school mentor. Having the opportunity to mentor high school pupils as they researched, planned and designed a garden was such a fabulous experience. Their enthusiasm, knowledge and ideas for what a garden could be was quite simply inspiring.
Pupils spent ten weeks deciding on what their school or community garden design should look like. They identified a possible site and researched the benefits for those who would use the space. The mood boards produced by each group gave a real flavour of the potential they could see in using the space.
Each group had to identified the plants they would use in the space but it was wonderful to see that almost every group had also included trees, flowers and space for fruit and vegetable growing in their designs. From working with my own group it was apparent that planting for pollinators and wildlife, the need to find space to grow our own food and to garden with the environment in mind were top priorities.
Groups had to produce a detailed garden plan and a 3D model and the detail and attention to detail, in these models and plans were just astounding! There were social spaces, lots of raised beds for fruit and veg, ponds, trees, wildflower meadows and sensory areas.
My group were a great bunch to work with, brimming over with ideas and hopes for changing spaces and bringing benefits through well designed gardens. From my experience of working with such enthusiastic and knowledgeable young people, interested in gardening and the future of the environment and our responsibility towards the planet, we can rest assured that the future of gardening is in safe hands.