The Academy is delighted to have been crowned school winners of Cultivation Street, a national award founded by celebrity gardener, David Domoney.
This is the second major gardening award the Academy has won, having been crowned RHS School Gardening of the Year 2017.
The Academy was chosen for its dedication to gardening and the level of involvement students have shown to it, turning what was a concrete area into an inspirational garden.
The garden also more than demonstrated its worth as a space to teach students about how to garden and the importance of nature.
Cultivation Street said, “The judges loved how much this garden engaged older students that may otherwise not have an opportunity to get gardening. Many of the students do not have gardens as they are so close to central London, and so the garden gives them the rare chance to get outside in nature.”
David Domoney visited the Academy in September to announce the winning team, which came as a surprise to Dr Kirwan and the students. They were presented with a cheque of £2,500 to spend on further developing the garden. Competition sponsors, Calliope, awarded the team with 100 geraniums to plant out in the spring.
On the back of the award, students have been offered horticultural training from Hammersmith Community Gardens Association and support to develop their business and finance skills as they sell their own produce and can fund the garden for therapy.
Dr Kirwan was asked what he would do with the money. “I am over the moon that we have been declared the winners. The students have all worked so hard during tutor time and even at weekends, so they really deserve the recognition.
The £2,500 will help us transform the school entrance. We will be planting new shrubs and fruit trees which will improve the school environment and extend our garden so that even more students can benefit from it. Thank you to all students, staff and parents who have helped support the garden project.”