A competition that began with more than 4,400 students across four countries culminated in a final competition on May 5, 2012. After three months of intensive effort, the young growers of the Garvinea School Garden Olympics travelled to Venlo in the Netherlands to compete for the Best International Garvinea Grower title at Floriade 2012 World Horticultural Expo. Each student took the plant he had grown to the theater in Villa Flora, where an international jury of experts subjected the plants to a critical examination.
The jury consisted of Peter Seabrook (Gardening editor for The Sun, United Kingdom), Lodewijk Hoekstra (TV presenter of gardening programs, the Netherlands), Ivo Pauwels (author and editor of gardening TV and radio programs, Belgium) and Peter Ambrosius (gerbera expert, Germany). It was the job of the jury to select one finalist per country and one over-all winner.
Stefan Schaab from the Netherlands won the international competition with his flowering plant and received the TrowelTrophy. His secret: “I put my plant in the southern window sill and fertilized it regularly. I really gave it some extra attention and that seems to help!”
Since the kickoff of the project in February, the children took care of their own plants and learned about nutrition, as well as the importance of water, soil and light. The children will now plant their blooming garvineas into the school gardens, where they will flower until the first frost.
Garvinea breeder Florist Holland, along with Floriade Kids, the Belgium Countryside Classes and the Britisch Miracle Gro’wers, created the international growing competition to teach children the joys of growing plants.