UK

Chelsea Flower Show: Duchess visits garden with schoolchildren

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionPrincess Charlotte and her brothers explore the garden their mother designed

The Duchess of Cambridge has unveiled her garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

She visited the woodland wilderness garden with schoolchildren a day after Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis also enjoyed it.

The royal children spent an hour on Sunday playing in the Back to Nature Garden, which has a tree house, stream and swing.

The site was co-created with landscape architects Andree Davies, Adam White and the Royal Horticultural Society.

Charlotte was pictured on a swing, while a barefoot George paddled in a stream and Louis ran about with a stick.

Image copyright Matt Porteous
Image caption One-year-old Louis enjoys the plot the Duchess of Cambridge co-created for the Chelsea Flower Show

Over the past months, George, Charlotte and Louis helped their mother collect leaves, moss and twigs, which were then incorporated into the garden.

The Duke of Cambridge was seen playing with his family in pictures released by Kensington Palace and taken by photographer Matt Porteous.

Image copyright Matt Porteous
Image caption Hazel sticks collected by the royals were used to make the garden's den

Catherine has been closely involved in the project and been at the site ahead of the event, which opens to the public on Tuesday.

The garden includes a tree house, waterfall, rustic den and a campfire as well as tree stumps, stepping stones and a hollow log for children to play on.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge was joined by local schoolchildren at her garden

It also features Princess Diana's favourite flowers, forget-me-nots, among the geraniums, blue periwinkle, astrantias, ferns, strawberry plants and rhubarb.

Reclaimed timber from Southend Pier was used to create the decking.

Image copyright Matt Porteous
Image caption The duchess was keen to show her children the project she had been working on
Image copyright Matt Porteous
Image caption William and Louis enjoy the multi-sensory garden designed by Kate

The duchess's woodland wilderness plot forms part of her work on early childhood development.

The garden is intended to highlight the benefits the natural world brings to mental and physical well-being.

One of the people she chatted with while touring the garden on Monday was fellow mother Alison Shockledge.

Ms Shockledge said: "She was talking about it from a mum's perspective: put your devices down, let's go out. Be relaxed with your children, let them get muddy."

Image copyright Matt Porteous
Image caption Kate hopes to pass on her passion for the outdoors to her children

The duchess also chatted to Colette Morris and Rebecca Beale.

Ms Morris said: "She said children played very differently. In a way she didn't anticipate."

Ms Beale added: "Children are often sat still looking at screens. She said it was important to be multi-sensory."

The duchess told the BBC: "I really feel that nature and being interactive outdoors has huge benefits on our physical and mental well-being, particularly for young children.

"I really hope this woodland that we have created inspires families, kids and communities to get outside, enjoy nature and the outdoors, and spend quality time together."

Her interview will air on Monday 20 May at 19.30 BST on BBC One.

More on this story