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Norfolk designer's kids garden set to star at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

PUBLISHED: 15:11 08 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:11 08 February 2019

Harleston garden designer Jody Lidgard who is collaborating with Montessori to create a show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show marking the edcuation charity's UK cententary. Picture:  Montessori St Nicholas

Harleston garden designer Jody Lidgard who is collaborating with Montessori to create a show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show marking the edcuation charity's UK cententary. Picture: Montessori St Nicholas

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An award-winning Norfolk garden designer has been chosen to create a special garden at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show marking the centenary of education charity Montessori.

The design for a Centenary Children’s Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2019 features cutting edge hydroponic technology where children can grow micro vegetables and leaves. Picture: Jody LidgardThe design for a Centenary Children’s Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2019 features cutting edge hydroponic technology where children can grow micro vegetables and leaves. Picture: Jody Lidgard

Jody Lidgard, who runs Bespoke Outdoor Spaces in Harleston, is collaborating with the UK’s leading charity for Montessori education, Montessori St Nicholas to create a show garden at the world renowned flower show that takes place in May.

2019 marks 100 years since Maria Montessori first bought her pioneering teaching methods to the UK, and the garden design brief aims to reflect the key principles that lie at the heart of her child-centric approach to education.

Mr Lidgard has previously produced gold medal-winning gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show over the past 15 years, including last year when he jointly scooped the highest honour in horticulture for a tea party-inspired garden produced in conjunction with luxury pottery brand Wedgewood.

A garden built by Jody Lidgard and designed by Jo Thompson and won a gold medal at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show. Photo: Jody LidgardA garden built by Jody Lidgard and designed by Jo Thompson and won a gold medal at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show. Photo: Jody Lidgard

He said this year’s Centenary Children’s Garden was intended to demonstrate children’s keen interest in plants and wildlife. His design incorporates two greenhouses featuring cutting edge hydroponic technology where children can grow micro vegetables and leaves.

It also features an edible living wall offers another opportunity for the children to grow their own food as well as providing a habitat for wildlife. ‘Tumbling Tom Thumb’ tomatoes and basil will feature in the living wall, whilst sweet peas and dahlias will add splashes of colour and flowers for children to pick.

“The design celebrates the work of Montessori St Nicholas by being child led but future driven,” he said. “We will be showcasing plants grown hydroponically, aeroponically, under artificial light and under glass in order to demonstrate the many methods of growing in small spaces that are accessible to children.

A garden built by Jody Lidgard and designed by Jo Thompson and won a gold medal at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show. Photo: Jody LidgardA garden built by Jody Lidgard and designed by Jo Thompson and won a gold medal at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show. Photo: Jody Lidgard

“This design offers an engaging space to nurture children, teach them about the natural world and allow them to explore horticulture in their own way.”

Having gown up in an urban landscape in Grimsby, he said as a child he relied on local parks, recreation grounds and woodland for outdoor adventures. As well as being a designer, he now also teaches the next generation of young talent at Easton and Otley colleges.

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