RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year 2023

We are absolutely delighted to announce that GHS Maths Teacher and gardening enthusiast, Felicity Sturge, has been named RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year 2023! Felicity began creating our school garden and allotment on a disused area at the Sports Centre in 2021 and has worked tirelessly to cultivate a plot which is now tended by our pupils and those of neighbouring primary schools.

In awarding her the title, the RHS judging panel commented, “What impressed us most about Felicity was her commitment, as we know it is not easy to find the time to run a gardening programme alongside teaching responsibilities. What she has achieved within a two-year period is incredible. We liked how she was working with other members of school staff to realise her vision, because this also means the garden has longevity. The judging panel were wowed by the local outreach network Felicity has created – it’s one thing to have a school garden, but it’s quite another to build relationships with other schools so that more children can access the space. Her engagement of sixth form aged students is also of merit, as typically we see gardening has a higher take up among primary school aged children. Many congratulations Felicity.”  

Felicity’s Entry Video:

Felicity’s Top Tips for gardening:

  1. Tie in sweet peas – they will thank you for it.
  2. Pinch out the top of cut flower seedlings – this will make them more bushy and produce more flowers.
  3. Make at least 2 bays for compost heaps. Start in one and move your compost between the bays – turning regularly will make it compost faster.
  4. Mulch bare soil to stop the weeds from growing and keep moisture in – use compost, manure, grass cuttings, straw, composted wood chip, or even cardboard.
  5. Sow double the number of seeds as plants you want, and keep some seedlings back when planting out – they will not all succeed.
  6. Use nasturtiums to border your veg patch – they look great, keep off pests, and self-seed for next year.

And finally, remember that each year is different, so if one crop fails try again – it may grow fabulously second time round!