We’ve won a gardening competition!

We’re delighted to have won a national competition run by the Montessori St Nicholas training organisation to celebrate how nurseries are using gardening in their Montessori practice. Our prize is two tickets to attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show!

There will be a special garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show celebrating the work of Maria Montessori, as 2019 marks one hundred years since she first bought her pioneering teaching methods to the UK. The garden design will emphasise the principles of child-first education. There will be two greenhouses featuring cutting-edge hydroponic technology where children can grow micro vegetables and leaves. The designer, Jody Lidgard, commented, “The design offers an engaging space to nurture children, teach them about the natural world and allow them to explore horticulture in their own way.”

We are lucky to be based right next to the allotments run by the Bennett’s Field Allotment Society, who generously allow the nursery to use one of the plots. The children really love visiting the allotments and growing vegetables, fruit and flowers.

To win the competition, we submitted photos showing how we have been exploring growing plants through hydroponic methods by placing bulbs and dogwood cuttings in water. The children kept a careful watch to see if there were any changes to the bulbs or the cuttings, and were very excited to see roots growing.

We also submitted photos showing the new willow dome growing in our sensory garden, which will provide a beautiful shady space for the children to explore, as well as being a peaceful, natural area for circle times and storytelling. The children will be involved in weaving the willow as it grows, giving them a hands-on experience in using natural materials to create interesting spaces.

Children from the nearby Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School also regularly visit our sensory garden. The school caters for pupils with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties, or complex needs, who really benefit from access to the nursery’s outdoor areas.

We’re very lucky to have our own allotment plot right next to the nursery, as well as our own garden areas, and we’re thrilled to have won this competition recognising our commitment to gardening and growing plants.