KEEN gardener Lynn Clarkson is blooming after being hailed as one of the top school gardeners in the country.

Mrs Clarkson, a high level teaching assistant at Eagley Infants Primary School, received a commendation from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) after being one of four people short-listed nationwide for the School Gardening Champion of the Year 2014.

She said: “I am really proud to have made it through to the national finals and am really honoured to be short-listed.”

Green-fingered Mrs Clarkson set up a gardening club six years ago at the school to teach youngsters where food comes from.

She added: “I have been doing this for a while now and it is something everybody can get involved with.

“The school is a partner school of the RHS, and their regional representative will visit the school once each term to help us embed the subject into the curriculum.”

Gardening activities tie into the curriculum, with children using it to improve their science, maths and literacy as well as growing their own food, and learning about the environment and sustainability.

The club has grown over the six years and children and staff have become extremely innovative, with wellies being used as planters with flowers in to brighten up the school fence — and pallets being used to create a vertical garden.

Mrs Clarkson said: “The children really enjoy it and all of them get involved in it.

“The garden is used not just for science but in other subjects as well, like literacy. We have had dinosaur eggs there and it inspires the children.”

Twice a year she invites parents and grandparents to work with the pupils in the garden.

The RHS said that the category attracted the most nominations, and described Mrs Clarkson as “very dedicated to improving the school grounds and encourage pupils to take part and develop a love of gardening”.

Mrs Clarkson received an engraved trowel and £250 of gardening vouchers when she went to RHS Garden Wisley.