Chelsea garden to highlight children’s wellbeing

RHS Ambassador and horticulturist Jamie Butterworth is designing his first RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden this spring to promote the importance of children’s mental health. A beautifully-planted garden will offer a safe space where children can take time and talk and will feature in the Sanctuary Garden category.

‘The Place2Be Securing Tomorrow Garden’ is being developed in partnership with leading children’s mental health charity Place2Be and sustainable investment manager Sarasin & Partners.

The garden is a space that facilitates and stimulates conversation, a safe and peaceful area where children can feel calm and be able to talk, while also taking in the beauty of plants and being outside. The connection with plants and the natural world is something that has proven increasingly important for mental health and wellbeing over the past two years during the pandemic.

It is hoped that the garden will generate discussion and better understanding of the importance of supporting and nurturing mental health from an early age.

Jamie’s design has been developed with input from staff and pupils at Viking Primary School in Northolt, West London, who have been working in partnership with Place2Be for 12 years.

Sarasin & Partners, who are an experienced charity investment manager with a commitment to responsible stewardship, have been supporting the work of the charity for the past two years and after the show with their support, the garden will be relocated within the Viking Primary School grounds.

With a lush and green planting scheme, the garden features pops of blue and yellow, chosen by the pupils at Viking Primary School, to add a splash of colour. Planting will be tough enough to deal with our ever-changing climate and durable enough to allow space to be used by children and carers.

Jamie, (pictured above) who is Managing Director of Form Plants points out that it is important to encourage children to engage with nature: “Through my work in schools as an RHS Ambassador I’ve seen first-hand the positive difference to children’s lives. I hope the garden will inspire everyone to think about the importance of outdoor space, a sanctuary where we look after and nurture our mental wellbeing.

That’s why I’m so delighted to create a garden which promotes children’s mental health, that will have a life beyond Chelsea, bringing a positive impact to the lives of primary school children who have no, or limited, outdoor space at home,” he said.

Catherine Roche, CEO of Place2Be, added: “One in six children now has a diagnosable mental health issue, and many more are struggling with the challenges and uncertainties of life today. The Place2Be Securing Tomorrow Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show offers a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the need to invest in children’s mental health. We are thrilled to be working with Sarasin & Partners and with the very talented Jamie Butterworth, who share our passion for the need to increase understanding of the vital importance of supporting wellbeing from an early age.”

Guy Matthews, CEO of Sarasin & Partners, is delighted that they have been given the opportunity to be part of this wonderful initiative. They hope the garden highlights the importance of sustainability and securing a future for the planet for the next generation, especially as the children at Viking Primary School will be able to enjoy the garden for years to come.

Jamie became one of only eight RHS Ambassadors in 2016, joining such illustrious names as Alan Titchmarsh and Mary Berry. He has previously designed gardens for Wedgwood at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show in 2019 (Best in Show, People’s Choice, best construction and Gold Medal) and more recently ‘A Garden for a Green Future’ at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021.

Garden image: ©Jamie Butterworth