The 84th Southport Flower Show gets off to a fantastic start with some beautiful weather
The show runs between 15th-18th August and the organisers expect over 70,000 through the gate. Visitors who will see many varied and unusual garden designs and two designed by youngsters in a competition sponsored by the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.
The Schools Design-a-Garden Garden Competition is a prestigious event and has been won this year by Natasha Croft, from Charles Saer Community Primary School in Fleetwood, and Sascha Swindells from Our Lady of Lourdes School in Farnworth. Their winning designs were chosen by a panel of judges from West Lancashire Freemasons and the gardening world, and then the designs were constructed into real gardens by a professional garden company so that the exceptional quality of the designs could be seen by the many thousands of visitors.
When asked how she felt about being a winning Natasha Croft said: 'I was gobsmacked, it’s amazing to see the garden.'
Anne Wilkinson, Natasha’s teacher who runs the art club at the school, said that this was the third time the school had entered the completion and the prize money would be used to put Natasha’s garden at the front of the new school when it opens in September.
Sascha Swindells commented about her win by saying: 'I was shocked and thrilled. It is really good to see the garden made up.' Hannah McMahon, Sascha’s teacher said that the prize money would be used to enhance the outdoor learning area and that the children will have a say in what is done.
Each year the competition is held in association with the Southport Flower Show and the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity. It is open to all primary school children in years 5 and 6 from across the North West and gives a chance for the gardeners of the future to create a garden for the show each year. This year there were 681 entries from school children from 36 schools across Lancashire, Cheshire, Manchester and Merseyside.
The two winners, the 10 runners-up, their families and their teachers were all invited to the show to meet Carol Vorderman, the popular TV presenter and Peter Hosker, Provincial Grand Master of West Lancashire, and President of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity to be presented with their prizes.
Each of the winning schools received £500 to enhance their school grounds and £50 was awarded to each of the winners. The 10 runners-up received £50 for their schools. An extra prize was given this year, HMP Thorn Cross Prison presented the winners and runners-up with a set of reconditioned gardening tools.
Peter Hosker, said: 'We are delighted to have once again had the opportunity of sponsoring this very prestigious competition. As Freemasons we support many community projects and to get children involved to develop a love of gardening is very worthwhile. The theme this year has been pride and it’s been a fine achievement by all who took part.'