HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has opened a new garden for children at RHS Garden Wisley by planting a weeping blue cedar tree.
The Back to Nature Garden is inspired by the gardens co-designed by The Duchess at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.
It includes features from the original garden at RHS Chelsea, including the hollow log and boulders from the waterfall, as well as the wildflower meadow, hidden burrow and rolling hill from RHS Hampton.
New elements include a ‘bouncing forest’, where visitors can jump on trampolines surrounded by trees, two treehouses, linked via a walkway with slides, and a living willow pod.
To celebrate the opening of the new play garden a Back to Nature Garden Festival will take place at RHS Garden Wisley from 10 September to 15 September.
Charities and organisations who work every day to make families and communities stronger and pupils and teachers from RHS Campaign for School Gardening Schools will take part in the festival as part of the Back to Nature Garden opening celebrations.
As with the other RHS Back to Nature Gardens, the garden at Wisley aims to support The Duchess of Cambridge’s work to highlight how time spent in natural environments can help in building the foundations for positive physical and mental wellbeing that last through childhood and over a lifetime.
These environments enable children to develop skills for life through free play, building confidence, strength, creativity and resilience.
Through its charitable work, the RHS knows the positive difference growing plants, access to nature and gardening can have for health and wellbeing and the environment.
Sue Biggs, RHS director general, says: “RHS Garden Wisley is our flagship garden, welcoming over a million visitors a year, many of whom are families with young children, who we want to become the next generation of gardeners.
“How magical for these children to play somewhere that has been inspired by gardens co-designed by The Duchess.
“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.”
The Back to Nature Garden at RHS Garden Wisley has been designed by landscape architects Davies White with the support and input of the RHS’ horticultural teams. The garden was built by contractors Gerald Davies. It will be a permanent feature in one of the world’s most famous gardens, for children and families to play in and enjoy.