A garden designed to support bees, which were shown to thousands at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, is due to be housed at St George’s Church of England Primary School in Camberwell later this summer.
More than 2,000 schools in London have been invited to apply to relocate BBC studios Our Green Planet and RHS Bee Garden, designed by RHS Gold Medalist and garden designer and presenter Joe Swift.
St George’s on Coleman Road was chosen after a panel of judges heard the students’ enthusiasm for their weekly gardening classes and their desire to design their garden to serve wildlife and the local community.
The bee garden will take pride of place near the school entrance for all to see, replacing old decking and some grassy areas.
Pascale Vassie, School Governor and Head of the Gardening Club at St George’s Primary School, who submitted the application, said: “The children’s enthusiasm for nature and gardening was wonderful.
“The preservation of the bee garden will provide a tremendous boost to our burgeoning garden club, and we’re excited that the launch will bring more parents and local residents to enjoy the garden and support the young gardeners.”
Featuring an eye-catching design centered around the silhouette of a bee’s wing, the garden aims to inspire people to consider the needs of pollinators, particularly bees, when choosing plants for their gardens and outdoor areas.
It features a variety of nectar-rich flowers and blooms from February to October when the bees are flying.
The garden also contains bee hotels for the winter use of the insects that will live on at St. George’s, and its shallow water element will be swapped out for even more pollinator favorites.
An automated pollinator monitoring machine known as Polly monitors pollinator activity at the school, including before and after the garden is planted.
The RHS will be able to compare pollinator numbers to other sites in the region and show just how much the bee garden is helping these vital insects.
The landscape elements of the garden will be dismantled and stored for installation at St George’s after the summer holidays in September.
The plants are from the same mix of species as those in the Chelsea Bee Garden and they are planted in time for the autumn rains to help the plants establish themselves in their new home.
The school intends to host a planting party with the help of Joe Swift, where students and their families will be invited to help plant the new plants.
Lizzie Jones, Schools and Groups Program Manager at RHS and one of the judges, said: “We are delighted to be giving the Camberwell Bee Garden a new home, ensuring it thrives, giving pollinators a new food source and giving the school children a chance experience nature on your doorstep.
“We had many fantastic entries but the passion shown by the students and teachers at St George’s was truly outstanding and we look forward to seeing the garden take shape in its new home.”
The Bee Garden with Joe Swift – Image: RHS