Home Horticultural shows RHS Chelsea 2019: The Duchess of Cambridge’s Back to Nature Garden

RHS Chelsea 2019: The Duchess of Cambridge’s Back to Nature Garden

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in the Back to Nature Garden with local schoolchildren. Picture; RHS/Luke MacGregor
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in the Back to Nature Garden with local schoolchildren. Picture; RHS/Luke MacGregor

Childhood memories inspire Kate’s garden design collaboration

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge’s co-designed RHS Back to Nature Garden for the Chelsea Flower Show has families and childhood memories at the heart of its design.

Designed with Andree Davies and Adam White of Davis White Landscape Architects, the show garden wasn’t judged, and key elements include a hollow log for children to climb through, a den, waterfall, stream and tree house.

The tree house forms the centrepiece of the garden, with a swing seat hanging from the branches. The waterfall and stream encourage play, from floating Poohsticks to making dams to attract more wildlife.

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in the Back to Nature Garden with local schoolchildren. Picture; RHS/Luke MacGregor
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in the Back to Nature Garden with local schoolchildren. Picture; RHS/Luke MacGregor

Wild trees and shrubs combined with a cool, calm colour palette of green and blue provide an instant ‘nature fix’ to relax and calm, while the playful and diverse planting includes edibles, plants for craft activities and forest scents, ranging from wild strawberries to magnificent trees.

Food for wildlife and pollinators

The flowers, fruits and seeds provide food for wildlife and nectar for bees and butterflies, while the plants offer nesting sites and shelter for birds and other animals.

Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: “We couldn’t be happier with the wonderful design by The Duchess of Cambridge and Andree and Adam for our garden at Chelsea this year.

“The RHS’s Garden is a beautiful natural space for families to get together, play, dig, grow plants, connect with nature and spend time in the great outdoors – something core to us as a charity to promote, inspire and encourage people to do.”

The RHS Back to Nature Garden is part of the RHS’s partnership with NHS England, which promotes the physical and emotional wellbeing that access to green spaces and gardening provides.

New home for garden

After Chelsea, some of the planting and landscaping will go to the Devon Partnership NHS Mental Health Trust, as winners of a national competition run by the RHS.

Back to Nature Garden co-designers Andree Davies and Adam White. Picture; RHS/Sarah Cuttle

The Duchess and Davies White will be co-designing two more RHS Gardens, at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (July 2-7) and RHS Garden Wisley, which will open in the autumn.

The former Kate Middleton has also collaborated with the RHS to publish five activity guides to inspire young gardeners and add a touch of Chelsea magic to their own homes.

The step-by-step guides to creating fairy gardens, welly planters, leaf wands, a bug hotel and painted pebbles take inspiration from the Back to Nature Garden.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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