Image of Kate Middleton and little girl

Journal

Back To Nature Garden

The Back to Nature Garden at Hampton Court Palace features work by The Prince’s Foundation craftsmen Jonny Briggs and Jonny Anderson

The Duchess of Cambridge hosted a picnic and play and learn event for her garden opening at Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival. The Back to Nature garden, which featured at the Chelsea Flower Show in June, is set within woodland and aims to be a space where families and communities can connect with nature.

A photo of The Duchess of Cambridge and children

A photo of The Duchess of Cambridge and children

The Back to Nature garden has a number of playful features to stimulate engagement with nature, including a rolling hill, a bug hotel, hidden burrow, and a bee-friendly wildflower meadow. The Prince’s Foundation craftsmen Jonny Briggs and Jonny Anderson created the garden’s natural waterfall and wooden walkway.

“My brief was to put together weathered stone in a formation that made them look completely natural,” Jonny Anderson, The Prince’s Foundation Building Craft Tutor explains.

A photo of a waterfall

A photo of The Duchess of Cambridge and a little girl

“I selected stones from the quarry and put them in order so water flowed down them as you would find in a woodland stream. All in all, I got 15 tonnes of stone together. It wasn’t easy!

“The idea of the garden is to entice children into playing. Natural play and the way the water works – the kids love just getting stuck in.”

A photo of The Duchess of Cambridge and children

A photo of The Duchess of Cambridge and a little boy

Carpenter Jonny Briggs worked on the walkway which was crafted from reclaimed pieces of timber from Southend Pier. “The walkway was designed to blend into its natural surroundings. I used 170 reclaimed timber deck boards that had a natural weather beaten finish,” he says.

A photo of The Duchess of Cambridge and people

“I really liked the feel of this garden – it wasn’t fancy, edgy or cool – just a place that everyone could relate to. It was inspired by memories of time in the outdoors, in nature, and the timber walkway weaved through the garden past a hollow fallen log, waterfall, stream, and wild-looking treehouse. Over 20 big trees and 2000 woodland plants framed the setting.”

The Back To Nature Garden featured at various flower shows over the summer period and has now been relocated.

Words: Rebecca Parker

Imagery: Adam Vallance / Kensington Palace