Japanese compact car specialist, Daihatsu, has announced the overall winner in its nationwide competition for secondary schools to design ‘The Daihatsu Green Garden’ for the world famous Chelsea Flower Show.
Burntwood School for Girls, at Burntwood Lane, Tooting, South West London, has been named as the overall winner.
The school’s winning design will now be built at the world famous show, which runs from May 24 – 28, where it will appear alongside creations by such household names as television gardener Diarmuid Gavin.
What is more, the school will also receive a £6,000 grant from Daihatsu towards a gardening project of its own.
More than 150 schools from across the UK entered the competition to design a modern ‘biodiversity’ garden, which as well as attracting and supporting a variety of wildlife, had to be a striking design for a domestic garden for the year 2004.
A panel of judges, including experts from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), which organises the Chelsea Flower Show, and The Wildlife Trusts, had the difficult task of selecting 14 regional finalists in January, from which Daihatsu chose the overall winner.
Congratulating the Burntwood School on its success, Daihatsu Managing Director, Andrew Edmiston, said: "Every entry was a potential winner. We were amazed by the high standard of the submissions, many of which had taken literally months to put together.
"As a ‘greener’ car company and a Founding Corporate Patron to the RHS, we are committed to helping the Society with its drive to raise awareness of the importance of encouraging greater biodiversity in Britain’s domestic gardens.
"What stood out about the Burntwood School’s design was its mix of innovative ideas and simple charm. It includes very workable ideas, which, as adults, we would probably have ruled out in favour of more serious but far less fun approaches to blending modern design and biodiversity. Well done to the Burntwood pupils."
Among the winning ideas in the school’s creation is a tree-like water feature made from recycled car exhausts. As well as being solar powered, a separate pump connected to two bicycles boosts the fountain effect when the bikes are pedalled.
Other key elements in the garden are a ‘bug hotel’ made from old logs, ‘bee apartments’ in a specially adapted wall made from recycled bricks, and a bat house and hedgehog home, inspired by an ancient icehouse in the school’s own grounds.
Geography teacher Eleanor Smith, who led the project, said: "We are very excited to have won and cannot wait to see the finished garden at the show in May.
"We had many meetings and came up with lots of ideas for the finished design from pupils across all years, aged 11 to 16. This has been a great addition to our school year and has really fired the imaginations of the children involved."Published 9 March 2004