Historic Greenhouse and Glasshouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic has begun a new partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society this year, in support of its annual School Gardeners of the Year competition. The Lancashire-based business will give two of its handmade structures (one worth up to £10,000) to the winning schools. Sharing the joy of growing with children is often a compelling part of Hartley Botanic’s customer experience, with many Hartley owners Greenhouse gardening with their children and grandchildren.
The RHS School Gardeners of the Year competition, now in its eighth year, is a nationwide search for the next generation of star school gardeners. It aims to communicate and encourage the many benefits of school gardening by shining a light on how young people up and down the country are getting involved, and the amazing teachers who are bringing growing to life.
Schools entering this year’s competition will be judged within three categories; RHS Young School Gardener of the Year, RHS School Gardening Team of the Year and RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year. Winners of the School Gardening Team of the Year will receive a handmade Hartley Botanic Greenhouse or Glasshouse of their choice, worth up to £10,000. Individual winners of the Young School Gardener of the Year and the School Champion of the Year will receive a Hartley Botanic patio glasshouse.
Tom Barry, managing director of Hartley Botanic said: “Here at Hartley Botanic we are passionate about equipping our customers to experience the joy of Greenhouse growing and to pass this on to their children and grandchildren. With our Greenhouses and Glasshouses truly standing the test of time (some of our original structures, such as the Greenhouse at Belgrave Hall installed in 1950, are still in full use) we know that for many of our customers a Hartley is something to be used and enjoyed across the generations, and for many, their joy of gardening began with their grandparents in a Hartley Botanic Greenhouse. The RHS School Gardeners of the Year competition is a great way for young people from a variety of backgrounds and locations to experience gardening first-hand, and we hope the handmade, Hartley Botanic Glasshouses and Patio Greenhouses we will be awarding the winning schools will extend this beyond the competition, and for many years to come.”
Alana Cama, RHS skills development manager at the RHS said: “We are thrilled to be working with Hartley Botanic for this year’s competition. The competition highlights what a difference gardening can make to young people’s lives – whether it’s improving their health and mental wellbeing, enriching curriculum learning or opening their eyes to a love of gardening that will stay with them as they grow older. I can’t wait to hear the inspirational stories behind this year’s nominees. And the winners will be able to enjoy their passion for growing all year round thanks to their Hartley Botanic Greenhouse prize.”
The competition is open to all UK schools registered to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the winners will be announced in June.