ALMOST 70 children from primary schools gathered at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern on Thursday, November 7, to discover the theme for next year’s school garden challenge at RHS Malvern Spring Festival.

The theme is Wonders of the World, and pupils from six schools in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire took part in workshops on how to design, grow and document the completion of their gardens over the coming months.

Head of shows Diana Walton said: “We’re always struck by the creativity of the school gardens and how inspiring they are each year.

“It’s fantastic to see youngsters getting stuck in as we’re striving to promote gardening and horticulture to a range of children and young adults, by supporting the embedding of the school gardens challenge into their curriculum.”

Jo Hooper, from Pitcheroak School, Redditch, said the school was delighted to be involved with the workshop and the challenge.

“All of our pupils have really enjoyed their garden workshop, and feel very excited about the competition. The activities were engaging and appropriate for all; the entire group was able to get the most out of the day and learn something new,” she said.

Building of the school gardens begins in April and takes approximately two weeks to complete. A panel of RHS experts will judge the gardens on Wednesday, May 6, the day before RHS Malvern Spring Festival opens to the public. An estimated 100,000 visitors are expected to descend on the Three Counties Showground over the four-day show.

RHS Malvern Spring Festival takes place on May 7-10. Advance tickets are now on sale now, with prices starting at just £20 for RHS and Three Counties members, or £22 for the general public (plus 75p transaction fee). Children under 16 go free. Group tickets are also available.