Kate Middleton recently offered a sneak peek of a project that combines two of her biggest passions in life: children and nature.
The Duchess is set to debut her showpiece creation, a "Back to Nature"-themed garden, for the annual Chelsea Flower Show this week.
While the photos that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared on their Instagram account show a whimsical garden complete with lush greenery, a wooden treehouse, and a stream, there's a deeper connection to the project for the Duchess that goes beyond Mother Nature.
Harper's Bazaar reports that the garden's big reveal this week coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Duchess and the Royal Foundation that established an expert panel on early childhood development to explore ways to better support children and mothers in the U.K.
“In recent years I have focused much of my work on the early years, and how instrumental they are for outcomes later in life,” Middleton wrote in a letter thanking those people involved with their help over the last year. “I believe that spending time outdoors when we are young can play a role in laying the foundations for children to become happy, healthy adults.”
More time outdoors, says the Duchess, plays an integral role in the future development of a child. Speaking of the scientific evidence that was presented to her through the group, she wrote. "What happens in our early years is vital to our being able to engage positively in school, and in work and society, and ultimately, to how we bring up our own children."
She added, "The first few years of life, from conception to five, are pivotal for our future health, happiness, and ability to cope with adversity—and probably more so than at any other point of our lifetime. Understanding that our brain develops to 90 percent of its adult size within these first five years helps crystalize how our experiences in these earliest years are so impactful, and influences who we become as individuals.”
Nature as a method of healing has been around for centuries. In Japan and South Korea, the idea of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, encourages people to get outside and into green spaces every day for improved mental and physical health.
When we're immersed in nature, "The brain’s prefrontal cortex — your hard-driving command center — takes a break as you drift into a soft-focus state of awareness,” Dr. Frank Lipman, integrative medicine specialist and author of the new book How to Be Well told Organic Authority earlier this month. “This allows you to shift from information overload to a state of pleasure, let go of negative thought cycles and rejuvenate your mental energy, and even access a wellspring of creativity and concentration.”
If you're in London and interested in seeing the heavenly garden that the Duchess of Cambridge, along with her two designers, Andrée Davies and Adam White, created, as well as reaping its health benefits, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from May 21 to 25.
Between Prince William and Duchess Kate's three young children, and now Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's recent addition, there's a lot of pitter patter of young feet happening in the royal family right now. Which means there will surely be more trips to the great outdoors.
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