Gardening Competitions

Encouraging civic pride and recognising ethnic community achievement

Saltley, Small Heath and Sparkhill Gardening Competition is a unique activity run by CSV Environment in Birmingham. It began in 1998 and is steadily growing in popularity. The gardening competition is multi-cultural, reflecting the diverse communities in the local area. It has categories for community groups, schools’ gardens both new and established, allotments and individuals' flower and vegetable gardens.

Everyone’s a winner

CSV Environmentis well known within Black Environment Network (BEN) for having established the Concrete to Coriander project in 1999, primarily to enable women from ethnic communities in East Birmingham to take action to improve their local environment. Members of Concrete to Coriander are now regular entrants to the Gardening Competition and their expert knowledge of Bangladeshi plants ensures that they do very well on prize- giving day.

CSV Environment encourages schools to involve staff, parents and pupils in planting vegetables, herbs and flowers as well as wildlife areas within the school. Even small school yards can offer spaces for planting. For example Parksfield Primary School has a roof top garden planted in pots and containers, St Bernadette’s School cultivated an allotment patch and Adderley School created beautiful organic raised beds. Nine different schools have been involved in the Gardening Competitions in the last seven years.

Individual residents are increasingly encouraged to get growing in their own gardens. As well as the intrinsic benefits of greening the environment, the chance of a prize gives budding

Making it happen

During the Summer, Project Manager Irena Iwegbu visits all the community projects, schools and residents to see for herself the good gardening practice and to take photographs. Then in October there are meetings to allocate prizes. In February there is a 'Prize Giving Day' which is really a festival for all the entrants. The Lord Mayor of Birmingham presents prizes and certificates to everyone, and there is lots of delicious food prepared by the competitors using their garden produce.



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Gardening Competitions