The secret is out and this royal's latest project seems like a labor of love inspired by her own inner child. Kate Middleton will co-design the Back to Nature Garden with the Royal Horticultural Society for its renowned Chelsea Flower Show. The Duchess of Cambridge has reportedly taken a hands-on approach in the venture in order to connect kids with nature and celebrate the nostalgia her own childhood memories.
The RHS made the announcement on Tuesday, Jan. 15, explaining that Middleton collaborated with award-winning landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White for the job. The organization, deemed "the world's leading gardening charity" on its Twitter, explained the motivation for the project on its website. "The garden has been inspired by childhood memories that are triggered by the natural world, and by special moments that will be created and treasured by families now and in the future," it says.
Further, collaborator Adam White explained what conversations with Middleton were like throughout the process. "We all spoke about our childhood memories, being outdoors and exploring nature," he said, according to People. "She was very open and has been hugely collaborative."
Beyond their own childhood memories, Middleton and the designers were motivated by the importance of nature and its impact on overall wellbeing.
Co-designer Andrée Davies also told reporters about the significance of the garden and what it represents. “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," Davies told reporters, according to People. White added, "The message there is that its about sustainability and re-using materials and emphasizing the link between health and nature."
For instance, the idea of Japanese "forest bathing," or reprieving in a forest to take a breather and relaxation, was Middleton's idea, according to White. “The Duchess suggested bringing this in,” he explained. “The challenge we all have is to create an immersive experience, to make it feel like visitors are in the middle of a woodland.” The RHS site also revealed that elements of the garden will be added to the NHS Mental Health Trust after the Chelsea Flower Show taking place May 21 to 25. The RHS Back to Nature Garden design will be revealed ahead of the show on Feb. 11.
It seems Middleton has been super invested in the project for weeks now. Her co-designers revealed they've been working on it for three months and speaking on a daily basis. The three were together during a visit to a community London garden on Tuesday.
“We were all on the same page to start with, we have been getting together on a regular basis," Davies also told reporters, according to People. "[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.” Given where she is in life, it's important that Middleton hasn't forgotten where she's come from.