On 21 November the annual Victorian Schools Garden Awards were presented at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Wild winds and high temperatures forced the ceremony from the Oak Lawns to indoors Mueller Hall, with approximately 400 students from around the state, their teachers, parents, volunteers and sponsors, celebrating their gardening achievements.
Garden Celebrities, Costa Georgiadis and Jane Edmanson, were on hand to enthuse the crowd with their knowledge and passion for gardening, with Costa now being the program’s official advocate.
This year’s State winners included Footscray High School for its horticulture and sustainability campus, home to the school’s VET horticultural studies and a source of produce for its hospitality program. Melton Specialist School was another State winner whose gardens are crucial to the learning experience of students with special needs. Maintained by Horticulture Certificate 2 students, the rest of the school contributes art works to its outdoor areas.
Winner of this year’s Kevin Heinze Perpetual Award (the ‘Gold Logie’ of school gardening – and, yes, Costa did bring his along for show and tell!) was Noble Park Primary School. With its open spaces and lush gardens, students can participate in investigative play (which doesn’t exclude tree-climbing or cubby-building), scientific learning in their various outdoor garden and a kitchen garden which is especially popular within this multicultural school community.
Each year Victorian Schools Garden Program’s (VSGP) committee continues to be amazed at the high standard of gardening programs running in our schools. It is comforting to know that we have a new generation of young horticulturist caring for our planet, especially in this time when global warming is at the forefront.
Click here for a full list of the 2019 VSGP Awards Results