The 2019 Chelsea Flower Show, which opens Tuesday, features quite a main attraction: the “Back to Nature Garden,” designed by the Duchess of Cambridge, alongside Davies White Landscape Architects. Although calling it a garden is perhaps an understatement: The green space includes a treehouse with a rope swing, a babbling brook, trees, shrubs, and edible flora.
The garden champions two causes close to Kate Middleton’s heart: children’s mental health and the great outdoors. “I really feel that nature and being interactive outdoors has huge benefits on our physical and mental well-being, particularly for young kiddies,” she said in a video posted to the Kensington Royal Instagram account. “I really hope that this woodland that we have created, in a huge collaboration here, really inspires families, kids, and communities to get outside, enjoy nature and the outdoors, and spend quality time together.”
The “Back to Nature Garden” is meant for entire families to enjoy, including hers.
On Sunday, the Cambridges shared several snaps of the entire clan enjoying the urban woodland. There was a baby Louis—walking!—with a large stick. George and Charlotte splashing in a stream. Prince William holding his youngest son on the rope swing. The whole family gathered around a campfire. And then Kensington Palace revealed a sweet tidbit: As it turns out, it wasn’t just Kate who helped build the garden. Her children were involved too.
“Over the past months, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis have helped the Duchess gather moss, leaves, and twigs to help decorate,” they said. “Hazel sticks collected by the family were also used to make the garden’s den.”
The natural material came from the Cambridges’s country home of Anmer Hall, in Norfolk. (It’s a beloved place for them: Their Christmas card, as well as recent portraits of Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte, have been taken on the grounds.) It was a sweet surprise, added to an already wonderful endeavor: The Duchess of Cambridge clearly took her project to heart, impressing the importance of interactive outdoor activities upon her own family.
Today, Kate Middleton brought a school group to experience her garden. It also included a wall where visitors could share their favorite memories of nature. She jotted down: “Boulder hopping in the Lake District.”
But the duchess hopes her garden will have an impact far beyond its walls. As she told a group of parents, “It is really engaging kids to understand nature and care for it, so they can go on to protect it.”