The RHS No Adults Allowed Garden puts kids in the driving seat, creating a garden of fun and exploration
An RHS Chelsea first
For the first time in the history of the world-famous show, a garden will feature at RHS Chelsea 2024, which is made by children. The RHS invited pupils from Sulivan Primary School in London to work alongside designer Harry Holding and together they created the brief and design for the garden.
The resulting RHS No Adults Allowed Garden is a joyful journey through a fantastical landscape where children can explore the magic of lush woodland, bountiful meadows and a wetland with heightened colour and oversized bog plants.
Their adventure culminates at the final destination – a natural den, set within a pool of water. Sliding down into the water, this sunken, children-only space is a sanctuary where they can play, learn, and explore the natural world around them.
“Children gardening and growing plants is both joyous and good for learning, development and health and wellbeing.”
– RHS Director General, Clare Matterson
Highlighting the importance of access to nature for children, the garden is an immersive experience where they can scramble over boulders, splash around in the natural stream, and dive into jubilant planting.
RHS Director General, Clare Matterson CBE,
says; “Children gardening and growing plants is both joyous and good for learning, development, and health and wellbeing. Like our Children’s RHS Chelsea Picnic
, which will continue in 2024, I hope this garden will be a special experience for all the children involved, which ignites an interest in gardening that will be with them throughout their life. Of course, we’re going to have to do some serious negotiating to see if we can get a special pass for adults to be allowed on the garden at the Show!”
Garden designer Harry Holding says: “I have loved working with the children at Sulivan Primary School to design this garden. They have been so creative and have come up with some brilliant – if somewhat challenging in some cases – ideas.
See Harry Holding’s School Food Matters Garden at RHS Chelsea 2023
“With this Garden, art, sculpture, and textural clay celebrate the child-like creativity innate in all of us, while sensory planting and natural materials create a nourishing space. Above all, it’s a celebration of the natural world and the joyous wonder children experience within beautiful landscapes.
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“The children really have been, and will continue to be, involved in every step of the design and creation of the garden and the RHS, myself and the children are really excited about the rest of the journey to the Show and especially beyond when the garden will live on.”
After the Show, the garden will be relocated to Sulivan Primary School in Fulham, for future generations to enjoy for many years to come. Other schools in the area will also be welcome to visit and use the garden.
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