Who is this royal visitor at a Norfolk nursery school?
PUBLISHED: 14:58 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:33 03 April 2019
A royal visitor dropped in on nursery pupils in Norfolk to lend a hand with their preparations for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Princess Tessy of Luxembourg visited the Peacock Montessori Nursery in Stuston near Diss, which has been helping a local horticulturist design a special garden for this year’s show.
The princess was shown around the school before venturing into the garden, where she got her hands dirty looking at plants the children had grown as part of the project.
She toured the garden with Jody Lidgard, of Bespoke Outdoor Spaces Harleston, who was commissioned by Montessori St Nicholas to design and build a garden for Chelsea to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Montessori nursery schools.
The Space to Grow garden represents an outdoor classroom with hydroponic growing, an edible living wall and a cutting garden.
Peacock Montessori Nursery owner Hannah Bartrum said: “The garden is going to be amazing and it will be so special as some of our plants will be there.
“We are very outdoors-based but it has made us more so and the children have shown such an interest in it.”
While Mr Lidgard has built gardens for the Chelsea Flower Show before, this will be the first he has designed.
“We all believe in the design and that makes for a happy build,” he said.
“It replicates the Montessori ethos of children learning through discovery and through the landscape. The key for us was to engage the children in the process.”
Mr Lidgard said he wanted the garden to be a space where children “can do a bit of damage” – a break of tradition at the Chelsea Flower Show, which children are not normally allowed to attend.
Princess Tessy, who grew up on a farm, said she was glad of the chance to visit a rural county such as Norfolk.
“To see little kids playing in the garden, playing outside, having the joy of being in the countryside, was such a joy and for me it was also a bit of a walk down memory lane,” she said.
Barbara Isaacs, Montessori global ambassador, said the organisation was very invested in outdoor education.
“For us to be able to demonstrate the capacities of young children to engage in gardening in a simple yet very meaningful way is a fantastic opportunity,” she said.