The royal mom has a secret garden!
Kate Middleton has a secret garden!
The royal mom has teamed up with two designers to create a showpiece for the annual Chelsea Flower Show in May.
Andrée Davies, 55, and Adam White, 45, the landscape architects who Kate is collaborating with on the Royal Horticultural Society’s official garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, said that they had been secretly working with Kate for three months, emailing and speaking almost every day. They also joined Kate on her visit to a community garden in London on Tuesday.
The project to create the woodland-themed garden was a “passion” for the royal, 37, who has taken on a very hands-on role to add inspiration and practical ideas for the garden.
“To us, this is very much about childhood memories. We all spoke about our childhood memories, being outdoors and exploring nature. She was very open and has been hugely collaborative,” White told reporters after Kate’s visit to Islington. “This is very much about the three of us, as co-designers.”
“It’s very relevant,” said Davies. “There is so much research around at the moment that shows being outdoors with nature is good for your mental health, and that is a big part of the Duchess’ public work.”
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She added, “We were all on the same page to start with, we have been getting together on a regular basis. [Kate] is very hands-on, model making, emailing images, coming up with all the ideas that we want to capture. She would often bring a folder of cuttings with her full of ideas.”
Davies shared that Kate wanted to use natural elements in the garden and “has a clear idea of the color palate she wants.”
White revealed that the collaboration will continue after May’s garden festival.
Princess Kate is also set to work with them on a garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, a permanent garden at RHS Wisley in Surrey and at another unnamed NHS garden.
“The message there is that its about sustainability and re-using materials and emphasizing the link between health and nature,” White added.
He said Kate had brought with her the Japanese idea of “forest bathing,” the practice of simply being in the forest — even office workers go out in their lunch break into the woods to relax.
“The Duchess suggested bringing in this in,” he said. “The challenge we all have is to create an immersive experience, to make it feel like visitors are in the middle of a woodland.”
And during their discussions it emerged that all three of them had read the same book: Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods – which raises the idea of a “nature deficit disorder.”
“We all realized we wanted to raise awareness of this. How if you can grow something from seed and germinate it you can see the magic of horticulture,” he explained. “Another of the things the Duchess really wanted from this garden was that anyone could take something away from it and create it themselves. I think people will be surprised.”
“This will be a garden where people can remember their childhood and maybe re-create it for their own. Go out and play in the woods or make dams in the stream,” said White. “There is a really serious message to connect families and communities with nature.”
Miss Davies added, “This generation is the one that spends more time indoors than any one. All three of us want to get them back outside.”
Last year, Kate revealed that she encourages family time outdoors.
“Spending quality time together is such an important aspect of family life and for me, as a mother, it is the simple family moments like playing outside together that I cherish,” Kate wrote in a heartwarming letter.
Kate is known to regularly escape the bustle of London to enjoy the clean air and vibrant woods near her parents’ home in Bucklebury with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, so that the royal children can feel the dirt on their hands and the mud on their wellies. In the future, little Prince Louis will join his siblings on their jaunts across the fields of Royal Berkshire, too.
Together with husband Prince William, Kate also makes full use of the extensive grounds at the family’s rural retreat in Anmer Hall, which is set within the even greater rural expanse of the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.