A GREEN-FINGERED pupil at Hermitage Academy has won a prestigious national award with a garden design.

Isabelle Gibrat's design was selected as winner of the water themed award, part of the annual “one planet picnic pocket garden feature” at Gardening Scotland.

The competition, run in partnership between Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Garden for Life Forum, saw schools compete to be one of the final 22 that helped to create the garden feature at the outdoor show.

The pupils were tasked with cultivating their creative designs which reflected the 2019 competition themes, coastal garden, drought tolerant garden, rain garden to reduce flooding or wetland or fresh water margin garden.

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S1 pupils were invited to design a ‘drought tolerant’ garden, with moisture-retaining compost at its heart, and the design by the Academy’s Isabelle Gibrat was chosen as one of 24 winners from across the country.

Designing her own compost bin, Isabelle – with help from technical teacher Sandy Cameron – created a garden which included walls planted with chives for bees, nettles for soup, and plants which represented the native landscape of Argyll and Bute.

Academy teacher Fiona McLeod said: "Keep Scotland Beautiful runs an annual Pocket Garden competition under the umbrella of the One Planet Picnic.

"The 2019 themes celebrated Scotland’s landscape by linking plants and place with water and our changing climate.

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"Hermitage Academy allowed all S1 pupils the opportunity to design a drought tolerant garden. Eight entries were selected for submission and Keep Scotland Beautiful announced that Isabelle Gibrat's entry was one of 24 winners.

"This meant we had to realise the design and take the finished pocket garden through to Edinburgh for display in the Gardening Scotland event from May 31 to June 2.

"To our surprise and delight, Hermitage Academy was overall winner in the Best Water Garden category."

The pocket garden competition, which is now in its fourth year, encourages children’s awareness, skills and understanding of food and the environment in a fun, hands-on and informal matter.

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Eve Keepax, food and environment officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We are delighted to present Hermitage Academy with the water theme award.

“Each and every one had playful and clever ideas, showcasing sustainability at its best. I hope that many visitors have been inspired and have left with lots of ideas that they can try in their own gardens.”

The final creations are judged by members of the forum, the public, and invited experts - helping to recognise the pupils’ work in transforming their designs from the page into planted reality.

Anthony McCluskey, chair of the Garden for Life Forum, said: “These gardens show how we can all make more space for wildlife in our gardens.

“It’s now more important than ever that we use all the space available to us to help wildlife, and the gardens designed and built by these children should be an inspiration to all gardeners.”