Children celebrate their new school wellbeing garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The Place2Be Securing Tomorrow Garden in partnership with Sarasin & Partners has been designed by RHS Ambassador Jamie Butterworth.
Pupils from Viking Primary School in London celebrated their new school wellbeing garden by joining broadcaster and author Kate Silverton at the Place2Be Securing Tomorrow Garden at the Royal Horticulture Society Chelsea Flower Show. The garden will be relocated to the school following the show.
The garden is the first to be designed by RHS Ambassador and horticulturist, Jamie Butterworth, with input from pupils, through their school’s partnership with children’s mental health charity, Place2Be. The children enjoyed the trip of a lifetime, and even made their own bespoke headwear for the special occasion, on the theme of nature and wellbeing. They spoke to Kate Silverton about their involvement in the garden design, as well as ways that they look after their own mental health.
One pupil, Paris, 9, said: “I’ve enjoyed being here with my friends, spending time with others, and meeting new people. I really like the garden a lot. It was really fun because everybody loves it, and I really think the people back at school will like it as well.”
Another pupil, Millie, 8, added: “It was really calm and peaceful. The plants are very big, too!", whilst 9-year-old Samuel said: "It was very fun and the plants were very colourful. I’m excited for the plants to come to my school.”
The Place2Be Securing Tomorrow Garden has been developed in partnership with Place2Be and sustainable investment manager Sarasin & Partners, which adopts a ‘securing tomorrow’ approach to investing.
Situated on Royal Hospital Way, the Place2Be Securing Tomorrow Garden is a space that facilitates and stimulates conversation. It aims to be safe and peaceful, where children can feel calm and are able to talk while also taking in the beauty of plants and being outside. This connection with plants and the natural world has proven vitally important for mental health and wellbeing over the past two years.
Research conducted in Denmark and published in Environmental Education Research* found that spending time in a school garden can promote pupils’ wellbeing and positively affect their self-esteem.
Sarasin & Partners has been supporting the work of Place2Be for the past two years. Its philosophy of ‘securing tomorrow’ – a long-term thematic approach to investing by prioritising environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors – resonates with the charity’s goal to secure children’s futures. After the Chelsea Flower Show, with support from Sarasin & Partners, the garden will be relocated within the Viking Primary School grounds.
The garden is designed to be a calming and relaxing setting, providing a safe space to stimulate and facilitate conversations and providing a sanctuary from the bustling urban environment. It includes an intimate, sunken seating area with large, bespoke, oak seats to enable people to sit and talk. Informal and mixed planting creates a soothing and intimate space. The dappled tree canopy at the rear and sides incorporates Cornus, Zelkova, Parrotia and Carpinus, underplanted with a restrained palette of woodland species of shrubs and perennials. The front of the garden will feature topiary and a selection of perennials and grasses, providing both texture and screening to the seating area. The choice of trees provides intimacy and enclosure to the space.
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