Group gardening is fun, sociable, good for your health and rapidly growing in popularity. And with this years’ Cultivation Street competition, sponsored by Calliope,® launching today it can also give you an unexpected windfall! The competition, which is now in its seventh year, has given away over £120,000 and thousands of free Calliope® geraniums to date.
This year, there’s nearly £20,000 in prizes up for grabs for outstanding school and community gardening projects across Britain, as well as the opportunity to get your hands on some marvellous Calliope® geraniums to colour your life at home in our exciting prize giveaway.
Working as a team to create and maintain a community garden has a ton of benefits. It lifts the neighbourhood by turning disused spaces into beautiful spaces for everyone to enjoy, creates community spirit as locals get to know one another, and even improves people’s diets as they grow their own fruits and veggies.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or a dab hand at gardening, there’s something in joining a gardening group for you. Put something back by sharing your wealth of experience with budding gardeners or exercise your brain by learning new skills from others. Both have been shown to boost people’s happiness levels and, if you plant easy-to-grow crops, like courgettes and tomatoes, it’ll stock up your larder too!
Gardening is also a great source of activities for children who are local to a community garden or have a garden at school. Growing potatoes in a dustbin is a favourite of mine and superb fun, but don’t stop there!
Plant strawberries that they can pluck off the bush for a quick snack, create a sensory garden with chocolate mint plants, woolly-feel lamb’s ear and sherbet-scented lemon verbena to titillate their senses, and let them paint stones with acrylic paint as seed labels. The world is your oyster!
Cultivation Street also has a network of Garden Centre Ambassadors on hand to help community and school gardening projects in their local area to get off the ground. Year after year, I see these ambassadors going all out for their local community, so if you have a group gardening project and could do with some help, reach out using the campaign website: cultivationstreet.com
- Community Gardens
This category rewards gardening projects that are bursting with community spirit! 1st prize – £3000; 2nd prize – £1500; 3rd prize – £1000; Two highly commended prizes of £750 each.
- School Gardens
This category rewards school gardens that enrich the educational environment for children. 1st prize – £2000; 2nd prize – £1000; 3rd prize – £750; Two highly commended prizes of £500 each.
- Gardens for Better Health – new for 2019!
This category rewards gardens that have a positive impact on the mental or physical health of the local community. 1st prize – £2,000; 2nd prize – £1000; 3rd prize – £750; Two highly commended prizes of £500 each.
- Calliope My Life – brought to you by Calliope®
This category rewards the most creative and colourful display of Calliope geraniums and, this year, is open to the public! Look out for posts on Cultivation Street social media channels from 3rd March for your chance to bag some free Calliope plug plants to create your display. Prize – £500.
- Ambassador of the Year
This category rewards Garden Centre Ambassadors who have gone above and beyond for their local community and school groups. 1st prize – £1000; 2nd prize – £500; 3rd prize – £300.
Every winning garden will also receive 100 Calliope geraniums each to fill their gardens with colour next season. That’s a whopping 15,000 Calliope geraniums that will be given out to worthy group gardening projects this year!