On Monday, Kate made a surprise visit to Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where she was hosting a special picnic. The Duchess invited youngsters, supported by her royal patronages, to visit her RHS Back to Nature Garden before it opens to the public on Tuesday at the annual horticultural event. The children were from the Anna Freud Centre, Evelina Children’s Hospital, Action for Children and Place2Be.
Their parents, teachers, and carers will also be in attendance. Everyone enjoyed the garden by joining Kate in a treasure hunt and a bug-spotting activity before the picnic began in the middle of the garden.
While talking to a schoolgirl named Millie, Kate revealed that George and Charlotte’s favourite feature in the garden was the waterfall.
Kate also revealed that her children helped provide some of the inspiration for her new garden.
George requested for some stepping stones over a mini pool fed by a waterfall, while Charlotte helped her mum collect pinecones used for a treasure hunt.
She told the group of schoolchildren: “There are eight, Charlotte helped me find them.”
Kate also showed her caring side once again when she comforted a timid schoolgirl Khareesha James by revealing how she deals with her own moments of shyness.
Speaking afterwards, Khareesha said: “I am shy and she said that’s where she goes when she’s shy – in the tent.”
For the occasion, Kate was dressed in a green printed Sandro dress with a V neckline detailed with pleats and buttons and matched it with summer espadrilles.
Inspired by the garden explored by George, Charlotte and Louis at RHS Chelsea last month, this garden is double the size and has playful new features, including a hill, a bee-friendly meadow and a pond to paddle in.
Before Kate’s engagement, a spokeswoman for Kensington Palace said: “As part of her longstanding work on Early Years the Duchess believes that spending time outdoors plays a pivotal role in children’s future health and happiness. Her garden highlights how time spent in natural environments can help build the foundations for positive physical and mental wellbeing that lasts through childhood and over a lifetime.”
Duchess Kate designed the garden with landscape architects Davies White and Adam White to show how spending time outdoors can benefit children’s well-being.
Kate’s garden “highlights how time spent in natural environments can help build the foundations for positive physical and mental wellbeing that last through childhood and over a lifetime,” her office at Kensington Palace said in a statement.
“Features like the hollow log and rustic dens will return from Chelsea, in addition to a new hidden burrow, rolling hill and stream. These environments enable children to develop skills for life through free play, building their confidence, strength, resilience and social skills.”
“In addition to the physical and mental health benefits of being in nature, spending quality time with parents and carers outside has a valuable impact on children’s early development,” they added. “In the garden, families can explore together and enjoy nature as a playground.”
Last month, the Duchess shared that she wants George, Charlotte and Louis to be outdoors in their garden “rain or shine,” encouraging them to spend time outside whatever the weather, believing “it encourages creativity, confidence.”
“Even a short amount of time — 10 to 15 minutes outside — makes a huge difference to both physical well-being but also to our mental well-being,” she revealed in an interview on CBBC’s Blue Peter.
After Hampton Court Palace, the garden will be permanently located in its final place at the RHS garden at Wisley, in the Surrey hills south west of London, in September.