The School Garden Challenge

Each year the RHS Malvern Spring Festival encourages children and young adults in the local community to take on a horticultural challenge

The Magic of Music

This year, the theme is The Magic of Music, and with help from School Garden Challenge Champion Chris Collins, incredible creations have been brought to life after months of hard work by teachers, volunteers and young horticulturists of the future. View all the incredible entries below:

The winner of the Best School Garden award

Over the Rainbow

By Bromsgrove School

Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion and even Toto, overlook their garden filled with flowers. The Yellow Brick Road leads to an Emerald City made from reused plastic bottles. Among the swirling planting of Heucheras, Achillia mollis, hostas and Tiarella lies a bug hotel and violins stuffed with violas.

Over the Rainbow display

An English Country Garden display

An English Country Garden

By The Stourport High School and Sixth Form College

Hostas sit on a piano overlooking a garden including, pelargoniums, eucalyptus, Tiarella, delphiniums, wisteria geums, cordyline hydrangeas and sweet peas (those we miss I hope you'll pardon). There’s a sink pond, a bird bath and a bug hotel to welcome visitors to enjoy an English country garden.

Sound of Music Do-Re-Mi

By Pathways Day Service

The Von Trapp house sports alpine plants and is decorated with the musical notes Do-Re-Mi and the notes are also explored in the solfège sign language. There’s a planter for each Von Trapp child bursting with plants to reflect their characters and songs. There’s a spot for Maria where her hat and ukulele rest among the planting of Tiarella, periwinkle, geums and ivy.

Sound of Music Do–Re–Mi display

The Magical Land of Oz display

The Magical Land of Oz

By Nunnery Wood High School

Vibrant rainbow hanging pipes shine over the garden, above miniature hoses with cymbal roofs and, of course, a bright yellow brick road. An Emerald City of green glass bottles sits in the centre of beds filled with violas, pelargoniums, aquilegias and forget-me nots, while a Scarecrow plays ukele, and a witch's feet peek out from under a nearby house.

Ugly Bug Ball

By RGS Worcester

There’s lots of places to stay for guests of the Ugly Bug Ball. A guitar insect hotel, a beehive and dead wood branches provide the habitats, while sunflowers, hostas and lupins give them something to munch on. There’s also a bird bath and feeders for larger guests and a trombone water-feature for everyone to dance around.

Ugly Bug Ball display

The Circle of Life display

The Circle of Life

By Kitebrook Preparatory School

A willow Simba statue sits at the heart of the garden, in the middle of the circle of life. Old instruments host new life as drums are reproposed to grow potatoes and courgettes. A beehive and chicken coup provide different habitats among the edible planting of salads, nasturtium and kale. 

Journey through the seasons from ‘Spare Oom’

By Pershore College (Part of WCG)

Take a journey through the Wardrobe and into Narnia’s ever-changing seasons with beds of winter, spring, summer and autumn colours. Cosmos, dianthus, marguerite, iris and marigolds bring the colour palate. In a wonderful detail, a single golden marigold is the light in the lamppost where Lucy first meets Mr Tumnus.

Journey through the seasons display

Circle of Life display

The Circle of Life

By Wye Forest Federation – St Briavels C of E Primary School and Redbrook C of E Primary School

An imposing wicker Simba stands on top of a piano surveying his domain while below, the animals assemble. Containers in the shape of warthogs, zebras and even a snake planter made from old tyres, are filled with hot-coloured flowers of pelargoniums, geums, marigolds and nasturtiums. Foliage plants like hostas, bamboo, ferns and grasses bring the Pride Lands of Africa to RHS Malvern.

The Octopus’ Garden

By The Downs Malvern

A big friendly octopus plays drums to entertain the insect he has invited into his garden who live in the Beetles Motel, made from an old guitar. There are pans to bash, so make some noise to accompany the riot of colour from the geums, sweet peas and periwinkle. Or help yourself to the free seeds at the seed library and start a noisy garden of your own.

The Octopus’ Garden display

Defying Gravity display

Defying Gravity

By Bredon Junior School

Based on the hit musical Wicked, the garden is spilt into two sides, one bright and wholesome with a bright white path flanked by beds of pom-pom like pink hydrangea mopheads and sweet peach geums. Go through the gate to the other side and the colour palate is deep, rich burgundy from Heucheras and Ajuga, complete with a bubbling brook, a broomstick and a cauldron.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

By Three Counties Academy Trust

A windmill towers over a path which winds past a very familiar car parked on a bed of golden marigolds. Swirly lollipops stick out from tyre planters a topiary of Edison the dog looks poise to jump into the container pond. The scene is set among the planting of hostas, bamboo, pelargoniums, ceanothus, sweet peas, which can only be described as truly scrumptious.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang display

Explore the show

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.