The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine, today undertook her first official engagement of 2019. She visited King Henry’s Walk Community Garden in Islington. King Henry’s Walk Garden, opened at the end of 2007, is an award-winning green space in the Mildmay ward of Islington, created by the local community, for the local community.
After spending the Christmas break at their country residence Anmer Hall and first Sunday Church Service at Sandringham Estate with the Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge returned to London last week just before Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s school opening and Catherine’s Birthday.
Duchess’ today’s visit was to highlight the great benefits of urban green spaces and services such as those provided by The Garden Classroom in terms of improving mental health and well being of young children. Ahead of the visit TGC welcomed the Duchess and tweeted:
The Garden Classroom is a charity and non-profit organisation that provide urban children and adults with transformative outdoor experiences devised to encourage active lifestyles, promote self-discovery, inspire growth and stimulate respect for nature. TGC started small, designing nature-learning sessions at King Henry’s Walk Garden in Islington for one local primary school. Learn more about The Garden Classroom here.
What’s unique about The Garden Classroom is that they pop up in parks and gardens all over the borough, close to schools and offer high-quality interactive half or full-day sessions linked to the literacy, maths and science curriculum. Last year they provided more than 200 learning sessions for 30 schools and more than 6000 children and now operate in ten venues in Islington and Kent.
Duchess who turned 37 on last Wednesday, met the volunteers at King Henry’s Walk Community Garden to hear how the project brings people together through gardening and food growing. Catherine also met local residences to chat about their experiences of the garden. The project is one of the many other projects that will inspire her upcoming garden.
This once derelict site has been transformed by volunteers into a beautiful organic garden, providing an opportunity for local residents to grow their own vegetables and flowers, or just to come and relax in a peaceful oasis. Run by volunteers, with support from Islington Council, the garden contains growing plots for cultivation by local residents, where the use of organic gardening methods helps to promote a diversity of plants and wildlife, and a full programme of education and events engages the whole community. Learn more about the Garden Here.
Ahead of the visit, it was announced that the Duchess has co-designed a garden for the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show that will be open from May 21 to 25 May this year. Catherine has designed ‘the RHS Back to Nature Garden‘ with award-winning Landscape Architects Andree Davies and Adam White, of Davies White Landscape Architects. The Garden is a woodland setting for families and communities, and encourages all generations, from all backgrounds, to connect with nature and enjoy growing plants for their health and wellbeing. Something core to the Society’s charitable work.
The RHS said, “Duchess’ garden will be inspired by childhood memories that are triggered by the natural world, as well as special moments that will be created and treasured by families now and in the future”. A full announcement of the garden design by the Palace:
To highlight the benefits of the great outdoors and inspire children, families and communities to get back to nature, The Duchess of Cambridge, the Royal Horticultural Society and landscape architects Davies White have today announced that they will design and build the 2019 RHS Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.
The garden will build on Her Royal Highness’s passion for the outdoors and the proven benefits that nature has on physical and mental health. The Duchess is a strong advocate for the positive impact that nature and the environment can have on childhood development, demonstrated by her longstanding support for organisations including the Scouts and Farms for City Children, as well as at more recent engagements to Sayers Croft Forest School and Wildlife Garden, the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, and her visit today [15th January] to Islington Community Garden.
Based on a woodland, the garden seeks to recapture for adults the sense of wonder and magic that they enjoyed as children, in addition to kindling excitement and a passion for nature in future generations. Wild planting and natural materials will be used to recreate a woodland wilderness where children and adults alike can feel closer to the great outdoors.
Her Royal Highness has worked in collaboration with the RHS and Davies White over the past three months and will continue to finalise the design ahead of the show in May. For over 200 years the RHS, which is the UK’s gardening charity, has been championing the power of gardening and growing plants for the environment, and for the health and wellbeing of people of all ages and backgrounds.
The design of the RHS Back to Nature Garden will be revealed in a press conference on February 11th. Continuing the collaboration and to engage even wider audiences, The Duchess of Cambridge and Davies White will be co-designing two further RHS Gardens, maintaining many of elements from the Garden at Chelsea, at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival that will open from 2-7 July 2019 and RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, which will open in the autumn later this year.
King Henry’s Walk Community Garden is part of the RHS’s Britain in Bloom campaign, ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood group’. During today’s Catherine was shown some of the allotment plots at the Garden to see the impact that can be achieved in small scale plots.
She took part in a winter planting workshop, bird box building with the children from St Jude and St Paul’s CE Primary School, in the garden’s kitchen area. One of these bird boxes will be used in The Duchess’s upcoming Chelsea Garden.
Duchess looking at the bee house.
Duchess, the mother of three, enjoyed a great time with children while making pizzas in Garden’s own outdoor pizza oven, using ingredients harvested from the garden including oregano, marjoram and rosemary. During pizza-making, Catherine told children that “George and Charlotte would love to be learning outside of the classroom. It’s still fun inside but it’s much better outside”.
She said, “They would love to come and do this with you. They will be very sad that I’ve been out with you and they haven’t been here. They’re in school – George is learning about space. I think it’s one of the best things to make, pizza, it’s such fun.” One school girl asked whether the Queen had ever had pizza Duchess replied, “That’s such a good question I don’t know. Maybe next time I see her I’ll ask.”
Before leaving Duchess was presented with the jar of honey made from Garden’s bees.
Kyrah, a primary school student presented The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane to the Duchess of Cambridge for her children. Its the book The Garden Classroom gave all Islington primary schools to celebrate it’s10th anniversary.
For the day, Duchess chose a country girl look. She was wearing Dubarry Bracken Tweed Jacket. Huge thanks to @PerthsFashion for the quick id. Catherine was seen wearing the jacket for the first time in December 2018 during a Christmas shopping spree.
The Dubarry Bracken Jacket, with its utility style design and tailored fit, offers a sleek and sophisticated look with a contemporary edge. The stand-up collar is on-trend and practical for days in the field, while the large pockets to the hips are a convenient place to keep your everyday essentials close at hand. Crafted from 100% wool with Teflon coating the jacket features funnel neck, zip detail at the cuff, loop and button front fastening. An Alcantara provides comfort and warmth around the neckline and a beautiful design feature on the cuff.
Duchess paired the tweed jacket with her Zara Skinny Mid-Rose Trousers that we last saw in 2016 during Canada Tour.
MiddletonMaven on Twitter suggested that Catherine might be wearing J. Crew Mockneck sweater in supersoft yarn. The Marino wool sweater with a mock neck and fitted silhouette is available on an official online store for $79.50 in 12 different shades.
Another look at the sweater. The Sweater is described as, “This cosy and flattering mock neck sweater feels as good as it looks, thanks to a crazy-soft blend of yarns. This is the one you’ll want to wear every single day “.
The new piece of today’s look was See by Chloe Leather-trimmed suede ankle boots. The shoes are described as, “See By Chloé’s combat-style ankle boots are perfect for balancing the prettiness of floral dresses and floaty skirts. Made from dark-brown suede, they have tonal leather trims and logo-embossed heel tabs, and are set on a chunky tread sole.”
The dark brown suede and leather boots feature 1.5-inch heel with lace-up front. They were originally sold for $445 and now on 40% OFF and available for $267.
Catherine finished her look with Kiki Lauren Yellow Gold Pavé Diamond Leaf Earrings.
Tomorrow the Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Costume Department of the Royal Opera House.