Two North Ayrshire schools have won the first round of a gardening competition as they compete to have the ‘Nation’s Favourite Pocket Garden’.

Caledonia Primary in Saltcoats and Garnock Community Campus have been chosen as finalists of the Pocket Garden Design Competition led by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The challenge called for nurseries, primaries and secondaries to design a garden with the finalists having their plans come to life for an online showcase between June 7-19, 2023.

Caledonia's entry included a beach, a pond, a woodland and a garden that celebrates the various outdoor spaces pupils are lucky enough to have access to. 

Pupils say that their favourite outdoor areas make them feel calm, free, energised and creative which is why this garden is called 'The Garden of Possibilities.'

Plants will come from a community seed library that promotes sharing seeds by 'borrowing' and then 'replacing' them from the plants grown as pupils aim to share the harvest within the wider school community.

The Garnock Campus entry was a recycled Peter Rabbit Garden, which will contain a vegetable patch, bird feeders made from recycled material, mini greenhouses and planters.

The design will be constructed by S3 pupils and was chosen as it is a favourite story by the early years pupils.

Education and Learning Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, Eve Keepax, said: “This year's new theme of 'A Garden of Celebration' has opened the door to an outpouring of ideas of what children want to celebrate and what they value.

“It is a reminder in difficult times that we still have many reasons to celebrate.

“It's even better when the way that the Pocket Gardens are created will be helpful for local wildlife and provide a bite to eat for people too!

“Well done to everyone that entered the competition, and we hope that all schools decide to bring their designs to life.”

The ‘Garden of Celebration’ theme for 2023 has encouraged pupils to fuse design, sustainability and joy into their plans.

Out of almost 200 entries only 42 made it through to the finals.

Finalists will now build and grow their garden on the school grounds before it is photographed and filmed for the competition.

The public will be able to ‘visit’ the gardens online after which they can vote for their favourite which will be crowned the best in Scotland.

To find out more about the Pocket Garden Design Competition visit: