Our 2023 Schools In Bloom Competition

Posted: 27 Jul 2023

Every year, Meadow Croft invites local schools within a 5-mile radius, to enter our Schools in Bloom Competition. Plants are delivered to the participating schools in early April. Schools then have until the beginning of July to grow the plants and display them in whatever containers, styles or pots they choose, ready to be judged by the Schools in Bloom panel. We let the children at the schools decide whether they give their garden a theme, something personal to their school or something larger such as celebrating a national day in the UK. The winner receives a £100 Meadow Croft voucher to spend on gardening provisions or plants for their school.

The Meadow Croft Schools in Bloom competition began as a way to support schools in outdoor provisions as well as encouraging children to garden at school and at home. It also offers schools the change to use free plants to brighten up any areas they felt like planting, and to help form the basis for school gardening.


This year was the competition’s 10th year, and we have seen some amazing efforts from the children. 

We’d like to give a special mention to all of our schools involved this year. Each and every garden was really well thought out and put together. It was lovely to see how happy the children were about gardening and what they had achieved. 

Grove Wood Primary School / Edward Francis Primary School / Wyburns Primary School / Hilltop Infant School / St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School / Glebe Primary School / Wickford Primary School / Collingwood Primary School / Elmwood Primary School / Rayleigh Primary School 

Each school received a ‘Certificate of Participation’ which celebrates the work that all the children put in over the Spring and early Summer months. 


We’re pleased to announce our top 3 placed schools. 

3rd Place – Elmwood Primary School 

This was the first year that Elmwood entered our Schools in Bloom competition and they did an amazing job with their garden. There was so much enthusiasm from the SEN Rainbow group. The garden was designed to be a sensory garden and the children all had to take ownership and look after specific plants. The children understood the names of plants and knew how to look after them. They had all worked hard to take an overgrown area and transform it into a rainbow themed garden. They were really excited about the garden that they had created, and it was lovely to see their excitement for gardening. They had also added handmade rainbows into the garden to add splashes of colour. A brilliant first year Elmwood, you set the standards high! 

2nd Place – Hilltop Infant School 

Hilltop were our 2022 Schools in Bloom winners so we were really looking forward to seeing what sort of garden they had put together this year. The teacher always let the children decide what theme they would like for the garden, and this year the children suggested a competition within a competition with the slogan 'Teamwork makes the dream work'. They then included the whole school and children were able to take part and take pots home to decorate, and that’s what they used to plant up our plug plants. There was lots of imagination in the children’s pots, for example: one student created a fairy garden pot and planted cosmos as the trees. The school then voted at the end of the year for their favourite pot and the winner won a meadow croft voucher. It was lovely to see how each child was really into gardening and the teacher was very enthusiastic and encouraging! Well done Hilltop, a well-deserved 2nd place this year. 


1st Place – Edward Francis School 

Edward Francis decided their garden would be created in memory of their beloved teacher ‘Alice Hood’, who was a teacher at the school until she lost her battle with cancer earlier in the year. The garden was Alice in Wonderland themed and it is designed to give the children a place to go and reflect. 

The children all donated different coloured bottle tops for the large rainbow on the wall and they also donated cups, saucers and teapots. Children had meetings with other classes to donate items for the theme. The garden was decorated beautifully with laminated pictures, ornaments, and bird feeders. Everything was in bloom and maintained well. The children were preserving the rainwater for the watering so understood the importance of this to help the environment. They were very proud of what they have achieved with the garden, and they should be too. It really was a beautiful memorial garden. The children are soon to also add an ‘Alice’ rose to the garden in memory. Well done Edward Francis – congratulations!


We will be displaying the winning school picture on our ‘Schools in Bloom’ competition board near the tills in the garden centre. 

We look forward to inviting local schools in the new year for our 2024 competition!

The Meadow Croft Team


Our 2023 Schools In Bloom Competition

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