School's a blooming success yet again
YOUNGSTERS from a Swansea Primary School created a floral homage to poetry great Dylan Thomas to take top prize in the annual Swansea in Bloom awards for the tenth successive time.
The children from Cila School finished top of the local schools gardening league to lift the David Franklin Cup for the second time in this year's competition.
They produced a fantastic array of flowers despite a miserable and cold start to the growing season, according to Swansea in Bloom Chairman Leighton Evans, a prize dahlia grower himself.
He said: "It was difficult this year because of the exceptionally cold spring we had which put everything well behind but the pupils at Cila did really well and came up with an amazing display.
"We have again been delighted with the standard of entries across the whole competition even though it wasn't easy for any gardeners and the theme this year, Dylan Thomas, was quite tricky too."
Cila were again competing in a league of the three best schools, introduced last year, and again came out on top, receiving a plaque and £100 in cash as well as the cup.
Deputy Head Teacher Vanessa Taylor said: "We were thrilled to win again. We have now been successful in the competition for the past ten years and are champion of champions again.
"The theme was a challenge but we made use of quotes from his work and looked at his life and his importance to Swansea.
"We went on a seaside theme with lots of blues and yellows for a beach garden and the children changed their discovery cottage into a writing shed like Dylan Thomas's Boathouse at Laugharne with flowers to match the theme.
"The reception class did a butterfly garden and in our raised beds we planted vegetables and companion plants to go on a sunshine theme with bright red, orange and yellows, plenty of nasturtiums and freesias.
"Swansea in Bloom is something we enjoy very much and we treat it as a whole school project, working closely with some of the governors including Mr Billy Morris who is a member of the local gardening club.
"Our caretaker, Julian Nash, who is also our eco-governor, is heavily involved but everyone plays a part. The children love it. Everyone gets involved and gets their hands dirty and joins in with planting, weeding and watering and we will have a meeting with them to decide what we need to spend the prize money on in the garden."
Ian Kirkpatrick, manager of competition sponsors, the Quadrant Centre, visited the school to view their display and said: "It really is fantastic. Every gardener tells me this year has been really difficult because of the very cold spring but Cila have produced a beautiful and colourful garden.
"They have used lots of imagination to commemorate Dylan Thomas and the way they have involved children of all ages throughout the school is wonderful."