The Duchess of Cambridge today unveiled a children’s playground paradise inspired by her ‘Back to Nature Garden’ first displayed at Chelsea Flower Show in May earlier this year at the RHS Wisley Garden. Duchess attended the Back to Nature Festival at RHS Wisley in Surrey, which celebrates the value of communities to our wellbeing and marks the culmination of the RHS garden project.
It was Catherine’s first official engagement after summer vacation. Last week we saw her dropping Charlotte at School for her first day with William and George.
The Back to Nature Garden Festival will stay open between 10–15 September 2019. The Festival includes a coconut shy, gardening activities, maypole dancing and circus acts. Visitors can create bunting using pressed flowers and leaves, make origami seed packets to fill with wildflower seeds, and sow peas to take home and grow.
The centrepiece attraction of Wisely garden is a giant wooden treehouse. The Back to Nature Garden is a space where families can play, discover and relax in a natural and exciting environment, and will delight thousands of children for years to come. About the visit and garden Palace said,
The Back to Nature play garden has been inspired by the Duchess’s designs and includes elements such as the hollow log from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden, and the wildflower meadow and rolling hill showcased at Hampton Court. New features include two connected treehouses and slides which encourage families and friends to have fun together in a natural environment. The garden was designed by landscape architects Davies White with input from the RHS, and will be a permanent installation at RHS Garden Wisley.
The garden is child-friendly with a sandpit, water feature and a set of swings and a hut made to look like a hedgehog. The play area will remain a permanent part of the RHS Wisley garden.
Bit of a surprise for you all today: the Duchess of Cambridge is at @RHSWisley to enjoy some family fun this morning as she unveils a playground paradise inspired by her Chelsea Flower Show garden.
👗 Emelia Wickstead pic.twitter.com/B68S68Fefw
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) September 10, 2019
Duchess arriving at the garden. The Wild at Wisley play area went through an exciting transformation this summer and have fun play elements. It also incorporates the winning sculpture from the BBC Blue Peter Royal Garden Competition.
In June this year, the Duchess of Cambridge joined forces with CBBC’s Children’s show Blue Peter to launch a special competition that asks viewers to design a sculpture to go into The Duchess’s Back to Nature garden.
The garden has features from the Duchess’s Back to Nature Garden displayed at Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Garden but is larger and even more child-friendly. RHS Director Sue Biggs said, ” We are grateful to the duchess for the incredible impact that this Back to Nature collaboration has had. There is no doubt that this project, through her passion and vision, has highlighted that access to natural environments and green spaces isn’t just a nice to have, it’s vital to have. This is something that the RHS also strongly believes in and will continue to champion through our Greening Great Britain Campaign and charitable work.”
Catherine helped to create this special Chelsea show garden as part of her ‘early years’ project, that is exploring how childhood experiences have a direct link with the issues some face as adults, such as addiction and social exclusion.
The Duchess of Cambridge is a strong advocate for the proven benefits the outdoors has on physical and mental health and the positive impact that nature and the environment can have on childhood development in particular. She believes that spending time outdoors plays a pivotal role in the future health and happiness of youngsters, and is keen to find ways to encourage this. She recently said,
“I really feel that nature and being interactive outdoors has huge benefits on our physical and mental wellbeing, particularly for young children. I really hope that this woodland that we have created really inspires families, kids and communities to get outside, enjoy nature and the outdoors, and spend quality time together.”
Duchess’ three kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were also involved in the project. She also brought her children to her first garden. Speaking about her kids, Duchess once said,
Yes, “rain or shine” they get “dragged outside. But it’s great, and I see it encourage creativity, confidence. Even a short amount of time 10 to 15 minutes outside makes a huge difference I think to both physical well-being but also to our mental well-being.”
Earlier in July, Catherine has lent her support to Backyard Nature– a UK Wide campaign helping children and grown-ups to make a real difference to the planet.
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) September 10, 2019
Today, Duchess was joined by the celebrity chef Mary Berry, who is also an RHS Ambassador. Both ladies hitched a ride on a tractor, alongside several other children.
After the ride, Catherine thanked the tractor driver, telling her, “Thank you, well done. The kiddies loved it!”
The Duchess planted a weeping blue cedar tree to mark the garden’s opening.
The RHS Garden is the final display of Duchess’ Back to Nature Garden. Before it, the garden was first displayed in May during the Chelsea Flower Show and then in July at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.
At Wisley, the new garden has two connected treehouses and slides, which encourage families and friends to have fun together in a natural environment. New elements include a ‘bouncing forest’, where visitors can jump on trampolines surrounded by trees and a living willow pod.
During today’s visit, Catherine joined schoolchildren, charities and organisations who have helped her work in the early year’s field to enjoy the fun, which includes a maypole and coconut shy. Among them were students from Place2Be, patients from Catherine’s patronage the Evelina London Children’s Hospital and families from Family Action.
Too cute! #KateMiddleton dances with a wee baby at the @The_RHS Garden Wisley – she tells mum Sarah that little #PrinceLouis loves to “smell flowers in the garden” 🌼🌿💕 @KensingtonRoyal pic.twitter.com/i8WL3ufTuk
— Women’s Weekly (@WomensWeeklyMag) September 10, 2019
Mother of three cute kids, Duchess enjoyed time with kids and families at the garden.
Speaking during the visit, Duchess said,
As many of you know, I was invited by the RHS to co-design a garden for families and children for this year’s Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival. It’s been the most amazing experience and I can’t thank the RHS enough for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
I am not as green-fingered as many of you here, but I was passionate about creating a garden that inspired children and adults alike to get back to nature and reap the positive mental and physical health benefits that it can bring.
Whether it is planting, exploring, digging, creating, or playing; quality time spent outside provides children with the perfect environment to form those positive relationships with the people in their lives and the world around them
As a parent, I have learned just how important it is to foster our children’s development, in all areas, not just physical, as soon as they are born. We build the blocks, the foundations, for future success and happiness later in their lives.
There is a well-known proverb – that it takes a village to raise a child – and everyone here represents an integral part of that very village. By coming together, having fun and experiencing new things, we can all impart life-long benefits on our children
For the visit, Catherine chose Emilia Wickstead Aurora belted floral-print Swiss-dot cotton-blend seersucker dress. Thanks to Middleton Maven on Twitter for the id.
The rosewood dress is crafted from multicoloured Swiss-dot cotton-blend seersucker and features partially concealed button fastenings through front, a self buckled belt. The dress is currently available on Net-a-Porter.
A closer look at the fabric.
Duchess paired the outfit with her Monsoon ‘Fleur’ Taupe Suede Espadrille Wedges.
Duchess wore a new pair of earrings today. Initially, it was thought that they were Accessorize Simple Filigree Short Drop Earrings but Susan from What Kate Wore noted the difference. I will update the post once we found more about them.