Kew to cul­ture kids!

Fa­mous fa­cil­ity to open a new gar­den for chil­dren

Garden News (UK) - - About Now - Words Ian Hodgson

Kew Gar­dens, Eng­land’s premier botan­i­cal fa­cil­ity, is to open a ma­jor new chil­dren’s gar­den to en­cour­age the young to ex­plore and learn about na­ture and the plant world. The new ven­ture, which will span an area the size of 40 ten­nis courts, will em­brace the four themes of earth, air, wa­ter and sun.

El­e­ments will in­clude a scented tun­nel of jas­mine, a 3.9m (13ft) high aerial walk­way, gi­ant wind­mill flow­ers, pollen spheres, splash pools, per­go­las fes­tooned with ed­i­ble fruits and a gi­ant sand pit, com­plete with a quirky play hut vil­lage sur­rounded by bam­boo plants.

The gar­den, which opens in May 2019, is specif­i­cally aimed to at­tract chil­dren aged 2-12 years and it will en­cour­age users to wend their way through a grove of 100 ma­ture trees, in­clud­ing a 200-year-old English oak. Par­ents and grand­par­ents will be able to take shel­ter in seat­ing in­stalled be­neath some of Kew’s old­est eu­ca­lyp­tus.

Work on the 10,000 sq m (107,639 sq ft) site started two years ago, with 40 ma­ture trees, in­clud­ing pine and ginkgo, trans­planted to boost the ex­ist­ing 60-odd grove of ex­ist­ing trees. Fund­ing for the project came from pri­vate donors and cor­po­rate spon­sor Thames Wa­ter, with re­main­ing fundrais­ing still on­go­ing.

“We re­ally hoped to de­sign and cre­ate a unique space for chil­dren to play in, that would not only be fun and stim­u­late their imag­i­na­tion, but also give them a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive on how the plants grow and why they’re so im­por­tant,” said Suzie Jew­ell, Chil­dren’s Gar­den de­signer over­see­ing the Kew project. “I hope this will lead to a deeper con­nec­tion with na­ture and a life­long love of plants for them.”

The Chil­dren’s Gar­den is due to open to the pub­lic on Satur­day, May 18. Visit www.kew.org.

A first in Kew’s his­tory, the gar­den will em­body the themes of earth, air, wa­ter and sun

Chil­dren will be en­cour­aged to have fun while they learn

In­no­va­tive fea­tures in­clude this play tun­nel

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