The RHS Back to Nature Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

RHS Back to Nature Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

Last year, HRH the Duchess of Cambridge began a collaboration with Chartered Landscape Architects and Designers, Andrée Davies and Adam White, (from Davies White Ltd), to work on a design for the RHS Back to Nature Garden; a Feature Garden, that was especially designed, for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.  The RHS Back to Nature Garden is a woodland garden, it’s a fun garden, which was essentially designed and developed to encourage families to spend time together outside.  The aim of the RHS Back to Nature Garden was to inspire parents, grandparents, and other members of the family, to have fun together outdoors; to remind everyone of the sheer joy of playing pooh sticks, the fun of building a den, and the magic of just spending time together with children, close friends, and other members of the family.

The RHS Back to Nature Garden is a fun woodland garden, which was designed by Andrée Davies, Adam White, and the Duchess of Cambridge, with the intention of inspiring families to spend time together, outdoors.

A reminder of the importance of connecting with nature and with our children

With the ever growing popularity of computers, computer games, television, social media, and emails, combined with the fact that we aren’t all fortunate enough to have a garden or an outdoor space of our own, many of us are spending increasing amounts of time indoors, where we are losing our vital connection to plants and nature.  It’s so easy for our days and weeks to become monotonous and ever more stressful, overtaken by the demands of work and our online or professional lives.

The stream and the waterfall in the RHS Back to Nature Garden looked wonderfully natural. This water feature looked as if it had been here for many years. You would never know that this waterfall was installed sometime over the past three weeks. I was truly impressed with the water features in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

The RHS Back to Nature Garden featured this lovely decking. I am not usually a fan of decking, but I found these decked paths really enhanced the RHS Back to Nature Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

Things often take longer than we expect, both at work and with chores and all the other dull things we have to do in life.  With work emails being sent at anytime, combined with the feeling that we need to keep on top of everything, our time can so easily be taken up.  The end result being that we enjoy no real downtime, we have no true way to unwind and have fun, and as a consequence, we have no real joy to share.  Being outside, in a garden, in a park, a meadow, a wood, or a forest, can be fun, energising, inspiring, and relaxing, all at once!  It’s wonderful and so good for the soul, mind, and body.

I hope that the publicity that the RHS Back to Nature Garden receives, will help to encourage more families to garden together, to sow some runner bean seeds, plant some sunflower seeds, sow some radish seeds, or even grow mushrooms or sow cress seeds, or sprouting seeds, or sweet shoots, indoors.  I love growing houseplants and gardening inside.  If you’d like to garden indoors, I’ve written so many articles to help you!  This article gives ideas for houseplants to grow in pots.  If you’d like to create a bottle garden or terrarium, I’ve written an article showing the step by step process of how to create a bottle garden and I’ve also compiled a bottle garden planting list.  I’ve written about more complex terrariums with lights and automatic misting systems, you can see my Rainforest Terrarium here and my Orchidarium, here.

Perhaps the RHS Back to Nature Garden will inspire a family to take on an allotment together, wouldn’t that be wonderful!  I hope that more families will visit their local park, take a picnic, play a game together and share in the happiness of being outside, making happy memories and having fun being together.

Every dream family garden has to have a tree house! Pictured at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

RHS Back to Nature Garden features

The RHS Back to Nature Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, had many inspiring features.  I was particularly impressed with the waterfall, pond and stream, they looked incredibly naturalistic.  The flow of the water and the sound of the water falling was just right.  The stone and moss around the waterfall looked fantastic!  While, the stream was beautiful, again this water feature looked very natural.  It was hard to believe that I was looking at a newly set up waterfall, stream and pond.  Pond dipping, paddling, and pooh sticks, are just some of the fun activities that we can enjoy by the water.

The RHS Back to Nature Garden features a rather charming waterfall, which is planted with ferns and mosses.

The RHS Back to Nature Family Garden came complete with all of the wonderful features that you’d hope to find in a family garden, including this wonderful, gently flowing, stream.

I thought the waterfall and stream in the RHS Back to Nature Garden were just so pretty. This is a really evocative and very special garden.

Every idealistic family garden needs a tree house.  The RHS Back to Nature Garden features a charming tree house, which is clad in stag horn oak – it’s been especially designed to look a little like a large nest.  A ladder at the base of the tree house allows visitors the opportunity to climb up to the viewing platform, where the garden can be surveyed and expeditions can be planned!  While a low rope swing hangs from the tree house.

A closer look at the treehouse in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

This is the absolutely charming tree house from the RHS Back to Nature Garden, it has been designed to look rather like a huge nest, and comes complete with a ladder and a rope swing. As pictured in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, which was designed by Andrée Davies, Adam White, and the Duchess of Cambridge, for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

There’s a fire pit to toast marshmallows, cook jacket potatoes, or have a BBQ, and a stick wigwam ideal for active play or to provide a calm, soothing space for a little one to relax.  A hollow log provides a home for many types of invertebrates, it’s somewhere for wildlife to shelter and a good hiding spot for a game of hide and seek!

The RHS Back to Nature Garden featured a stone fire pit for impromptu BBQs and warming up on chilly evenings!

The RHS Back to Nature Garden featured lots of great places for children and adults to play, have fun, and relax. The lovely weeping tree here is Fagus sylvatica ‘Pendula’, sometimes known as the weeping beech. While Pinus sylvestris is the tree next to the wigwam. You might have noticed, Pines are popular trees at this year’s show.

This phenomenal fallen, hollow tree is pictured in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, which was designed by Andrée Davies, Adam White, and the Duchess of Cambridge, for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. You might just be able to make out the blue flowers of Myosotis sylvatica, if you look closely.

Planting

The RHS Back to Nature Garden also features some easy to grow edible plants, to encourage children to garden and to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.  I spotted a number of wild, alpine strawberry plants, as well as a pear tree and a plum tree, while I was exploring the garden.

Gunnera manicata and ferns, pictured in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

Trollius x cultorum ‘Cheddar’, Tellima grandiflora, Geraniums, and wild strawberries, mingle with Blechnum spicant in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

The RHS Back to Nature Garden features atmospheric ferns and woodland trees.  While, Geraniums, Astrantia major ‘Ruby Wedding’, Trollius x cultorum ‘Cheddar’, Forget-me-Nots (Myosotis sylvatica) Alchemilla mollis, and wild strawberry plants, provide a long flowering season, these plants are poised to supply pollen and nectar to bees, hoverflies, butterflies, and other pollinating insects.  Woodland plants delight us with their flowers that twinkle in the dappled sunlight.

Astrantia major ‘Ruby Wedding’ is an easy to grow plant that flowers for an incredibly long period, supplying lots of pollen and nectar to bees and butterflies. Plant in moist, well drained soil, in partial shade or shaded conditions.

A lovely bumble bee feasting on a Geranium phaeum flower, in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

Geraniums, Astrantias, Trolliius, Forget-me-Nots, Alchemilla mollis, and wild strawberries, will all grow happily in dappled shade.  These plants can be grown successfully in containers, so don’t panic if you’re inspired to grow Forget-me-Nots and you only have room for one planter – you can still grow them.  Plants can be obtained from garden centres, but why not sow seeds?  You’ll save money and have more flowers, next year.  Choose a container with a hole in the base, as this will allow the water to run right through the compost, over your plant’s roots, and then away out of the drainage hole, at the bottom of your pot.  If you’re interested, here are some tips for planting container plants.  I always recommend using Dalefoot Composts‘ peat free composts, as these are the composts that have performed best in my many Compost Trials over the past eight years or so.

A closer look at the pretty flowers of Trollius x cultorum ‘Cheddar’, as pictured in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

There was interest from flowers, leaves, and bark, in the RHS Back to Nature Garden. This is Prunus serrula, a small cherry blossom tree that grows to around 10m (33ft) tall, after around 20 years.

Cow parsley, also known by its botanical name of Anthriscus sylvestris, pictured in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, which was designed by Andrée Davies, Adam White, and the Duchess of Cambridge, for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

Blechnum spicant, pictured by the waterfall, in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

RHS Back to Nature Garden relocation

A competition organised by the Royal Horticultural Society has determined that which trust will receive the RHS Back to Nature Garden’s plants and hard landscaping from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  After the RHS Chelsea Flower Show closes, the RHS Back to Nature Garden will be relocated to the Devon Partnership NHS Trust Dewnans Centre, in Dawlish, on the South Coast of Devon.

A closer look at Carpinus betulus leaves in the RHS Back to Nature Garden. This show garden is designed to inspire families to spend time together in the garden.

Duchess renews her message, working with Davies White Ltd. on two further gardens

The Duchess of Cambridge is continuing her collaboration with Chartered Landscape Architects and Designers, Andrée Davies and Adam White, to create two more feature gardens for the Royal Horticultural Society.  These two, new RHS Back to Nature Gardens will both feature elements from the RHS Back to Nature Garden that was on show at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

HRH the Duchess of Cambridge has collaborated with Designers, Andrée Davies and Adam White, to design the RHS Back to Nature Garden.  This is a woodland garden, designed to motivate families to spend quality time together. The designers and the Duchess hope to encourage families to play and learn, together, in the garden, or in the park, or the woods. The hope is that this garden will inspire people to create memories, have fun, and connect with nature.

If you’d like to create an inspiring children’s garden for your community or garden, designers, Andrée Davies and Adam White specialise in this area of design, they work together as Davies White Ltd. offering a complete design and build package to their clients.  I loved the RHS Back to Nature Garden, I also loved the Zoflora and Caudwell Children’s Wild Garden, that Andrée Davies and Adam White designed for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.

RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2019

Together, the Duchess of Cambridge, Andrée Davies and Adam White will be designing a garden for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2019.  This new RHS Back to Nature Garden, will share elements with the RHS Back to Nature Garden that we saw unveiled at Chelsea.  The Hampton Court RHS Back to Nature Garden will be on show to visitors, to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2019, from 2nd July 2019 to Saturday 6th July 2019.

The overriding emotion I felt, whilst I was exploring the RHS Back to Nature Garden was one of refreshment. Woodland gardens tend to be wonderful places to explore, whatever the weather. The pinky-red flowers you see at the front, in this photograph, are Astrantia major ‘Ruby Wedding’, the soft, creamy yellow flowers nearby are Trollius x cultorum ‘Cheddar’, and the teeny tiny flowers nearby are Tellima grandiflora and Alchemilla mollis. Pictured in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

I so enjoyed exploring the RHS Back to Nature Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

RHS Garden Wisley

The third garden has been designed especially for RHS Garden Wisley, in Woking, in Surrey.  The RHS Wisley Back to Nature Garden will be revealed at the RHS Wisley Flower Show 2019, which opens from Tuesday the 3rd September 2019, to Sunday 8th September 2019.

The RHS Back to Nature Garden features woodland trees, ferns, and herbaceous perennials, including Forget-me-Nots and Geraniums.

Information and activity guides

The Duchess of Cambridge and the Royal Horticultural Society have again joined forces, this time to produce five new activity cards for children.  Each activity card is intended to inspire children’s interest in gardening and wildlife, you don’t need a garden and there’s no cost to take part.  Produced as part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Campaign for School Gardening, the information sheets are available to everyone, for free, online.  There’s information and ideas on how to make a fairy garden, how to paint a pebble, how to make a bug hotel, plant up your old welly boots, and make a leaf wand.  Here’s a link to the information for all five activities, on the RHS website.

If you’re interested in gardening with your children or with your school, it’s free to register and join the Royal Horticultural Society’s Campaign for School Gardening- there are lots of fun and interesting information available – currently you can register for free online and you’ll receive a free welcome pack.

Other articles that may interest you……………..

To see a calendar of specialist plant fairs, festivals, sales, and swaps, please click here.

To see an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.

To see an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018, please click here.

To see an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, please click here.

To see an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, please click here.

To see an overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015, please click here.

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