Polhill Crown Winner of Best Young Gardener
At the beginning of May, Polhill Garden Centre put a call out to all the budding young gardeners to show off what they had been up to in their gardens over lockdown. Whether they had been growing some beautiful flowers, trying their hand at growing their own veg or even finding ways to introduce wildlife into their garden – Polhill were eager to find out.
During lockdown, the UK has seen an abundance of first-time gardeners and a general appreciation of the outdoors. Being told to stay put at home was something we all had to adapt to, and it goes against our natural instincts. However, once again the British public came together, supported one another with door-to-door deliveries and we shared our top tips for getting through – one of those things was the great outdoors.
The craziness of life, whether that is the busy commute to London, the school drop off or the packed weekend of school clubs and family gatherings had all come to an immediate halt. We were all at home with our families within four walls for what was set to be for quite a while, so that is when our gardens became an extension of our home – a room that had so many opportunities to explore.
What has been even more inspiring, is families have come together and children have thrived at the challenge of growing their own plants and vegetables! Gardening is not only beneficial for our mental wellbeing, which we can all say has suffered during such a tough time, it is also very educational for children. So much so, that teachers have now started conducting classes outside as children are more engaged and focused. Polhill understand the importance of children being amongst nature, learning about wildlife and plants, so this seemed the perfect opportunity to see just what the youngsters of Kent had been up to!
Polhill were inundated with entries for the ‘Best Young Gardener’, from children as young as 4 years old helping Mum with the watering. However, it was 10-year-old Juliette Maxwell that stole the show.
Juliette inspired everyone at Polhill – from planting insect friendly plants, upcycling old benches and using old toilet rolls for planters, to even keeping the heads of her Sunflower for some extra food for the birds! However, it is not just the enjoyment of seeing a plant grow from seed that Juliette enjoyed it was learning about where her food came from and the time as well as the effort to the produce the food we eat too.
Juliette has also been successful at growing fruit, vegetables, and salad – which her family have all been enjoying. Her beautifully bright blue upcycled bench looks great with her planted welly boots, which takes pride of place in the garden.
Polhill announced the winner of the competition at the start of National Children’s Gardening Week (29th May – 6th June) and presented Juliette with a hamper of Polhill products. The hamper included everything for her to continue her gardening adventures, from seeds, gardening tools, planters as well as a few novelty gifts from our toy section too. She also received a £50 voucher to spend in store.
When visiting Polhill to collect her prize she also let the team into a little secret too. Within her photo submissions her hair became noticeably shorter halfway through, which turns out to be much more than a haircut. She had been growing her hair to donate it to a charity who create wigs for children with cancer.
Not only was Juliette a well-deserved winner, but she is also a very special girl too.
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