It was back to RHS Garden Wisley and ‘Back to Nature’ last week as I wrapped up a summer of gardening and Blue Peter filming with Catherine, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.
Catherine’s ‘Back to Nature’ Garden is inspired by childhood memories and for families to reconnect with nature, which is obviously ‘my bag’!
From our first meeting, where Catherine and I filmed with Blue Peter at Paddington Recreation Ground it seems like as one project ended, another began.
RHS Chelsea Build
So, my Mum gets a call, “can George come down to RHS Chelsea to help HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, with the ‘Back to Nature’ garden build?”. Later, she picks me up from school with our dog, Buddy and as we walk along the river, she asks me, “on Wednesday do you fancy going to Chelsea?”. Erm I’ll think about it!! Oh yes, opportunity of a lifetime!!
Here I am choosing the branches that would eventually become the den, that I helped Catherine to build.
I also planted a periwinkle, with garden designers, Andree & Adam. Since then, I’ve been like a broken record saying, “How many 13yr olds get to help build a garden at Chelsea and not just any garden, Catherine’s garden!”
RHS Chelsea launch
A few days later, there was the big launch of the ‘Back to Nature Garden’ on press day at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and well, that obviously blew my mind. The garden looked lush, it’s like a piece of ancient woodland had been carved up and plonked in the middle of Chelsea; I loved the design!
Despite being a crazy whirlwind of press photos and interviews, Catherine still had time to talk on a 1-1; she’s an incredible person and I feel really honoured to have met her, she’s so down to earth.
Royal Garden Competition Judging at Kensington Palace
What a privilege to be invited by Catherine to Kensington Palace to judge the Blue Peter Competition. I obviously had to keep this secret for a few months as I couldn’t risk slipping up, with who had won the competition.
Judging was a really tough job, I’m not kidding, all the short-listed entries were incredible. Ultimately, it was all about the design, use of natural materials and how the sculpture embraced the theme of nature.
RHS Garden Wisley
It was great to see Jess’s design from how it looked on paper, to the actual sculpture. The way it’s been carved, has given it a feeling of natural texture. The clever use of different clematis, means it will flower throughout the seasons too;
“as time goes on and the flowers grow, it’s going to integrate into the garden, it’s going to look fantastic.”
Later, we joined in the ‘Back to Nature Festival’, to celebrate the opening of the garden, there was all sorts of traditional activities & music and cakes by the Queen of baking, Mary Berry.
The Blue Peter clip is available on iPlayer until 17th Oct 2019.
Even though all this high profile stuff has been mind blowing, it’s also the people you meet, who mean so much:
- The Blue Peter Crew are top! They are so professional, yet very relaxed and really know how to get the best out of us kids. There’s a chaperone called Katy, I’ve met twice now and it was great to share these once in a lifetime opportunities with her too.
- On all these occasions, I’ve met the same Kensington Palace Staff and I just really got on with them, they are really cool.
- I’ve met more of the RHS staff, including Ben Brace, who’s working on new projects, like RHS Bridgewater – right on my doorstep!
- Back to Nature Garden designers, Adam & Andree I’ve heard them described as being, “at the top of their game“; they are the most down to earth people I’ve ever met and I’m deffo keeping in touch with them, as they can provide really valuable work experience in my future
- And I’ve met some great, like minded young people in Jess, Megan and Lucy from the Blue Peter clip. Megan and I have since messaged on social media and Jess and I met at Chatsworth this weekend, when she was staying over after filming at Media City.
It’s been an incredible summer, with amazing opportunities that will stay with me forever.