The Whitchurch students turned heads throughout London with their gorgeous mobile gardens
Green-fingered students’ handiwork is a hit at the Chelsea Fringe Festival
May 30, 2012  //  By:   //  Charity Events, Dyslexia Research Trust, Gardens by Jo, Local Business, RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Victoria Poolman

Bio: Having written for a range of trade and consumer publications, Victoria brings her love of all things local to the role of HugoFox News Editor.

Victoria Poolman

The Whitchurch students turned heads throughout London with their gorgeous mobile gardens

Last week, the hard work of a group of students from Testbourne Community School came to spectacular fruition when they paraded their stunning ‘wheely’ gardens through London. On 24th and 26th May, the budding young horticulturalists wowed the lookers-on with their floral creations, which were planted in decorated wheelbarrows, whilst also collecting on behalf of the Dyslexia Research Trust.

In a project conceived by award-winning garden designer Joanna Kent ( and sponsored by local listings website, the youngsters from Whitchurch have been busy designing, painting, and planting over the past six months, readying the mobile gardens for their outings in the capital. Last week, it was finally time for them to hit the streets, and the barrows were transported from Whitchurch to their starting point at Battersea Park. The students then wheeled them round the Chelsea area. Temperatures were scorching, but that didn’t dismay the green-fingered youngsters, whose wonderful creations turned heads throughout the day and prompted many donations to the Dyslexia Research Trust. Sponsor money is also now being collected by the students, having done the wheelbarrow walk.

Looking cool despite the heat at the Chelsea Fringe Festival

The project formed part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival, a new London-wide celebration of flowers, gardens, and gardening supported by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The Testbourne students – who are all aged between 12 and 16 – wanted to show that they were interested in learning about horticulture and that they had the motivation to demonstrate this in a positive way. “They couldn’t have done this better,” says Joanna Kent, who was pleased and privileged to have inspired and coordinated the innovative project. She told HugoFox News how thrilled she was with the response the children’s wheelbarrow gardens received.

I am very proud of the students’ achievements. They have been fantastic to work with during the six months spent preparing this project, and the days out with them in London where amazing. They were a credit to me, the school, but most of all to themselves. I hope they will continue to nurture their interests in horticulture, a sector that is currently woefully undervalued as a career option. I am really pleased that they have all asked to be involved in the Chelsea Fringe again next year!”

Local website is likewise honoured to have been able to help support the project, and would like to congratulate Jo and the students on their achievement – which was, quite literally, bloomin’ marvellous!

The blossoming gardeners who were involved in the project are Lydia Brennan, Cameron Kelly, Alex Walmsley, Emma Walmsley, Ebony Oram, Robyn White, Dan Glendon, Freya Long, Enola Sims, Hannah Yardley, and Laura Woods. As testimony to their fantastic days out in London, Lydia created this delightful video to record the event.

The wheelbarrows are now back home in Whitchurch and on display. However, they can look forward to yet another outing over the weekend of 15th-17th June, as the students have been asked by Whitchurch’s local Methodist church to wheel them out again for the church’s 200th anniversary Flower Festival. Residents of Whitchurch should take the opportunity to admire these beautiful mobile gardens, the result of half a year’s dedicated work by the horticulturalists of the future!

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