COTSWOLDS schools were showing off their gardening know-how at this year's Malvern Spring Festival.

The Graduate Gardeners from Bisley took their second Gold at the spring gardening show, held at the Three Counties showground in Malvern.

The garden, put together by Mark Draper, aims at a natural, but designed look rather than a wild garden.

The planting is wildlife-friendly and natural looking at the far end of the garden, but more traditional at the other end, while a simple reflective pool adds interest to the tranquil space and hawthorn hedging and slatted timber forming the internal screening and boundaries.

The Graduate Gardeners were joined at the show this year by Painswick Rococo Garden Trust, who set up a stall at the show for the first time this year.

Also from Gloucestershire and displaying winning ways were Helen Campbell from Winchcombe, who's 'Fading Into Beauty' display took a Silver-Gilt medal in the Botanical Art Awards.

Farmor's School in Fairford got a Highly Commended for their School Garden on the subject of the double helix of DNA.

Minety Pre-School in Malmesbury had a commended for their garden ‘Growing our Future’, comparing and contrasting the lives of children before and after the 1870 Education Act, which introduced statutory education for all children.

Also on the historical theme, one of the show gardens marked 100 years since the start of the First World War, and was inspired by Siegfried Sassoon’s poem To Victory.

Return to greet me, colours that were my joy,

Not in the awful crimson of men slain,

But shining as a garden; come with the streaming

Banners of dawn and sundown after rain.

The show itself came as a welcome relief after the awful winter, with some great displays of floral beauty to lift the heart.

There was a revision in the show this year, as the organisers, taking a lead from the successful Autumn show, built much more of a food element into the spring show this year, with celebrity chef James Martin putting on cooking displays and competing with TV gardener Carol Klein for the biggest audience.