To celebrate 100 years since Maria Montessorri first brought her highly regarded teaching practices to the UK, The Montessori group commissioned award winning gardener, father of six and founder of Bespoke Outdoor Spaces, Jody Lidgard, to create a beautiful child-focused garden for The RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year.
After months of planning and and just three weeks to build and assemble the garden, the results are fantastic. The Montessorri garden team more than fulfilled their brief to create an interactive, children’s garden that encourages children to explore and learn through play – echoing some of the key Montessori principles. Junior took a tour of the multi-level, interactive space to discover all the thoughtful, inspiring details that anyone could use in their own garden no matter how big or small.
Plant plenty of mint. This is a hardy plant that can withstand children rolling on it and will not only release a wonderful uplifting smell when crushed and brushed past but is also fun for kids to nibble on.
Raise up your pond. It’s much easier for kids to interact with and see into water when it’s raised up to their level. just a small pond at the edge of a deck is big enough to welcome plenty of wildlife and plants. The fact that the the pond is high up means that small children are naturally kept at a safe distance by the barrier wall.
Create a door within a door. One of the nicest details in the Montessori garden was the door to the greenhouse which was full adult height but featured a small child size door within it giving a lovely Alice in Wonderland feel.
Create child friendly hide-aways. A space under a classroom veranda was used to create a hidey-hole complete with a sculptural, polished concrete swirl to climb into and plenty of cushions to nestle in. A place where only children can retreat to and play or just contemplate.
Make Bee Hotels. The garden featured several Bee friendly stacks of bamboo and pine cones encased in wire mesh hanging on the walls.
Plant an edible wall. The Montessori garden
Choose bright colours. The planting scheme was so bright and stimulating and the powdered steel structure that formed the sheltered area of the garden was a welcoming and uplifting hot pink.
Mix vegetables into your flowerbeds. Dark cabbages provided a fantastic contrast to the flowers here and were included to show children how to nurture and grow their own crops.
Create a water feature. The tinkling sound of water pouring out of eccentric glass fountain heads by Chester’s Glass in to the pond created a wonderfully relaxing feel.
Make a potting area. A small space for filling pots with earth and seeds was a lovely touch for encouraging kids to grown their own. A low table, trowels, a watering can and some pots are all you need.
The kids only hiding nook with plenty of mint and aromatic plants.