Grow with Towergate Gardening Competition

Our 'Grow with Towergate' competition was launched to help share the joys and benefits of gardening to schools, foster carers and nurseries. Congratulations to Jan, Dolphin Day Nursery and Brandles School and thank you to everyone who took part.

Meet the winners and runner-up entries below:

Foster Home winner

Foster carer Jan

Germinate your health

Gardening frees all our minds and souls,
Sprinkling clean away our worries satisfying our goals.
Digging up our emotions of achievement and joy,
Hoeing away problems bringing peace as a decoy.
Annual pleasures pollinating ideas and plans,
Seeds into seedlings thinning out with loving family hands.
We graft our spirit selves onto bud union stems,
Plugging out into cold frames our growing young gems.
Sometimes we feel bare rooted and closed as buds,
But mixing with Mother Nature’s abundant love floods.
Our dead heads are lifted our eyes opened wide,
Revitalised crowns up swimming with the new life’s tide.
Memories are made tragic trials are defused,
Irrigation of tenderness starts to heal past bruise.
We mulch our children’s delicate needs from nature around,
Cultivating good memories regardless of their background.
They are our precious nurtured crops homegrown,
That we love and cherish now never to be alone.

Foster Care Runner-Up

Foster carer Judy

Judy Foster Carer Photo

We care for disabled children, having the sunflower seeds were a great start to introduce them to planting and looking after the flowers.

Our little granddaughter got involved being 3.5yrs she had fun when planting them in small pots and the children loved placing them around the flower bed.

The children took turns to water the flowers and as they grew taller than the other flowers they were excited to see the sunflower themselves, which took a lot more time.

The inspiration to plant other flowers in the bed to accompany these sunflowers were also fun for the children to choose what flowers they wanted.

All in all, it was a shared, fun time together and seeing the children visit the flower bed daily to watch the progress was great.

Next year we would love to grow more and share with our school for the children there to do the same.

Thank you for these seeds this year, it is the start of more wanting to plant, watch and encourage. It’s been great.

Nursery Winner

Dolphin Day Nursery

We had lots of fun and learning through planting the seeds and watching them grow, although because we have had such hot weather they seemed to wilt and didn’t make it. We were very disappointed as we were looking forward to watching them flower and taking them home.

The children continued to talk about what sunflowers look like and read books about them, some of them have drawn sunflower pictures and wrote some words to describe the experience.

Nursery Runner-Up

Mells Nursery

Schools Winner

Brandles School

Growing a Sunflower

Who are we?

We are Sand group, comprising of 4 students at Brandles School for Witchcraft and Wizardry! Only joking, we are a small SEN (special education needs) all boys school based in Baldock.

What did we do?

We planted Sunflower seeds in small plant pots then relocated them into a larger planter.

How did it go?

Because of the heat wave in recent months we have had to continuously water the plants to keep them hydrated… this was a challenging time for all plants. Also a lot of intruding pests have been feeding on the Sunflowers, they have not yet bloomed maybe for these reasons.

Benefits of growing the Sunflowers?

  • They provide oxygen to the atmosphere.
  • Caring for the Sunflowers helped develop our skills to nurture.
  • We hope to use the seeds from the blooming flowers in our cookery lesson as they are edible. This is really good because if you are self-reliant you reduce your carbon footprint.

Thank you for reading about our project
Year 8 Sand Group

Schools Runner-Up

Roachvale School

We are Roachvale School Garden Club. We meet for an hour each Friday. A group of up to twelve children aged 8-11 with a Teaching Assistant and one parent helper. Our entire annual budget is less than £100.

We meet even in the depths of winter when we can do some maintenance; and some indoor activity like making wind chimes, scarecrows etc.

We sow lobelia in January, Tomatoes in February and Potatoes in March – we prick out, pot on and plant and weed. We water and feed and do our best to learn how to grow good fruit and vegetables.

Our children learn how to count, multiply, divide. We measure things. We learn about where plants come from. How varieties differ like humans differ. We learn about good techniques. We are organic. We co-exist with wildlife that eats our plants before we can. We see how hard it is to grow things without fertilizer and water – and realise what a poorer country must be like.

Health benefits of gardening

As specialists in the care sector, including for schools, we know that gardening can provide many and varied benefits, including:

  • Promotion of healthy eating, particularly in young children, helping them to understand where their food comes from
  • Boosts to vitamin D, important for bone health.
  • A sense of pride and achievement can be developed and shared.
  • Enjoyable learning from the cycle of sowing, planting, nurturing and harvesting and benefits personal health and wellbeing.

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