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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.

Jamie Butterworth, Kate Silverton, and pupils from Viking Primary School in the garden

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.”

Pupils speak to Kate Silverton in the garden

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.

It was really important to me that this garden creates a space to stimulate and facilitate conversations, a space for children to be able to share whatever is on their minds. On a personal level, as the child of a primary school teacher and a mental health nurse, I really understand the importance of nurturing wellbeing. Gardening has such a huge impact on our mental health, and it’s been amazing to work with the pupils at Viking in recent months, to hear all their ideas and to see them literally getting their hands dirty and sowing seeds. Engaging with nature is so important, and that’s what this garden is all about. Jamie Butterworth, Managing Director of Form Plants and designer for the garden

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.

Kate SIlverton speaks to one of the pupils from Viking Primary School

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.

It’s so wonderful to see the pupils from Viking Primary enjoying the garden that they have helped to create. We know from our frontline work in schools that many children and young people struggle with mental health problems. Spending time outdoors and in nature has a hugely beneficial impact on wellbeing, and we are thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity for one of our long-standing partner schools. Huge thanks to Sarasin & Partners and the very talented Jamie Butterworth, who have made it all possible. Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be
Our support for Place2Be over the last two years has culminated in the creation of the Place2Be Securing Tomorrow Garden, which we hope will highlight the importance of sustainability and securing a future for the planet and the next generation. Our philosophy of ‘securing tomorrow’ resonates with the charity’s goal to secure children’s futures – especially for those at Viking Primary School who will enjoy the garden for years to come. Guy Matthews, CEO of Sarasin & Partners

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.

Jamie Butterworth, Kate Silverton, and pupils from Viking Primary School cheering in the garden

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