See Kate Middleton’s Idyllic Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show
The Duchess of Cambridge codesigned the woodland-inspired environment with award-winning landscape firm Davies White
Kate Middleton’s eagerly awaited debut garden has been unveiled at London’s prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. The Duchess of Cambridge conceived the enchanting woodland environment—christened the RHS Back to Nature Garden—along with designers Andrée Davies and Adam White, who helm the award-winning landscape architecture firm Davies White.
In the week leading up to the event, Middleton spent a reported 20 hours putting the finishing touches on the naturalist green space, which is anchored by a nest-like treehouse clad with a tangle of staghorn oak branches. A campfire, waterfall, and stream enhance the idea of the garden being a relaxing and transportive retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The duchess visited the Flower Show with her three children—George, 5; Charlotte, 4; and Louis, 1—and husband, the Duke of Cambridge, earlier this week before it was officially unveiled. The family posed for photos, including one that shows Kate smiling while she tested the rope-ball swing that hangs beneath the treehouse. In another, Prince George and Princess Charlotte dip their toes in the stream while sitting on a wooden bridge. The implication, it seems, is that the garden isn’t too precious to disturb. When asked by his dad to rate the duchess’s garden creation on a scale of one to ten, the young prince rated the space “a 20!”
In an interview with the BBC’s Monty Don, Middleton said, “I really feel that nature and being interactive outdoors has huge benefits on our physical and mental well-being, 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.”
For the plantings, the team chose a diverse selection of wild trees and shrubs, as well as edible produce, plants for craft activities, food for animals, and colorful flowers to attract pollinators. One of the more noteworthy plants in the garden is the forget-me-not, with its cluster of periwinkle blossoms. The choice to include the flower is said to be a subtle nod to Princess Diana, who favored the delicate species. In fact, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of her death in 2017, thousands of white forget-me-nots were planted on the grounds of Kensington Palace, her former home.
Of course, the Duchess’s garden is just one part of the famed Chelsea Flower Show, which runs from May 21 to 25. Be sure to check out the other areas of the showground, including those vying to win Best Show Garden, the Artisan Gardens, more than 80 exhibitors at the Great Pavilion, and a memorial marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
See below for more photos of the family enjoying the garden: