In pictures: Schools create fantastic wheelbarrow gardens for Shuttleworth Trust competition
The nine mini-gardens were designed on a wildlife theme
Visitors to the Swiss Garden have been admiring some rather smaller gardens... in wheelbarrows!
The Swiss Garden has been running a Wheelbarrow Garden Competition for lower and primary schools in Central Bedfordshire.
The idea is for the schools to design a mini-garden in a wheelbarrow with a wildlife theme.
This year, nine schools have taken part.
Sadly, the 2020 launch of the competition, which 19 schools signed up for, was unable to take place due to the lockdowns in place last year.
Corinne Price, Garden Heritage & Audience Development Manager, explained: "They have all interpreted the theme very differently, and the level of detail and overall standard is very high – it’s difficult to choose a winner!"
She added: "It has been a lovely competition to run, especially as so many schools are just getting back into the swing of things after being shut for so long, and we are thrilled to be able to engage with local schools in this way.
"The setting of the Swiss Garden at this time of the year (Rhododendrons aplenty) is perfect for the competition, though not without its challenges.
"We have to store the barrows indoors each night due to a healthy population of muntjac deer in and around the garden, who would see the barrows as a free ‘salad bar’ once the gates are closed at the end of the day!"
Visitors to the Shuttleworth Trust attraction this week have been given a counter when they arrive, which they have been using to cast a vote for their favourite wheelbarrow.
The schools and sponsors were each given some free tickets to the event in thanks for their support and participation.
The competition ends on Saturday, June 5, and the winning schools (first, second and third prizes) will be presented with garden vouchers sponsored by Bedfordshire Gardens Trust.
Poplars Garden Centre, near Toddington, sponsored the event to the tune of ten wheelbarrows, and also provided two bags of compost for each participating school.
The Shuttleworth Trust hopes to run the competition again next year on a bigger scale.
Take a look at the creative wheelbarrow gardens - with these fantastic pictures taken by Darren Harbar Photography.