STUDENTS who took part in the Farnham in Bloom schools’ hanging basket competition have turned their newly-acquired gardening skills into a business opportunity.

Staff from Farnham Town Council’s outside workforce visited The Abbey School, on Menin Way, to show the students how to plant the perfect hanging basket.

Having planted baskets to enter into the competition and for display in Central car park in the town, the Year 10 and Year 11 business enterprise students went on to plant a further 30 or so baskets. These will now be advertised and sold by the students.

Stephen Hill, Farnham Town Council’s lead member for community enhancement, said: “We were delighted to be able to help the students make a successful business. Selling hanging baskets was a very good idea and has provided the students with a real-life insight into what is involved in running a business.”

Children from 16 schools and nurseries have took part in this year’s hanging basket competition, which is now in its 10th year.

Under guidance from the town council’s gardening experts, Farnham’s young people have made more than 80 hanging baskets.

Mr Hill added: “The children had a wonderful time planting their hanging baskets.

“We are displaying one basket from each school and nursery in Central car park and every basket will have a plaque, so the children can proudly show their family which basket they helped to plant."

To inspire the next generation of gardeners, Farnham Town Council runs a number of competitions for schools, including the scarecrow competition, largest pumpkin, tallest sunflower, and flower in a boot.

Entries into this year’s scarecrow competition will be on display in the Lion and Lamb Yard from early July so they are ready to meet the In Bloom judges on July 10 and July 11.

Nineteen schools and nurseries have entered this year’s competitions. To say ‘thank you’ for contributing to Farnham in Bloom, the children will be invited to an awards ceremony at Squire’s Garden Centre in October.

The range of competitions is made possible by support from local businesses, including Specsavers in Farnham which is this year’s Farnham in Bloom corporate sponsor.