Montessori St Nicholas is celebrating 100 years of Montessori education in the UK and to mark the occasion, the Charity sponsored an innovative garden at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show. First time Chelsea Designer Jody Lidgard, produced an incredible garden to encompass all the elements of the Montessori concept.
The Judges spent a considerable amount of time on the garden, and were entranced by its numerous children orientated features. These included a Greenhouse with an entrance for little people through a small door set within the standard door, a special place for children beneath the classroom, where they could seek solitude to read or play quietly. There were ponds accessible to children and with the use of a camera the secrets beneath the surface were revealed.
Jody Lidgard included a growing wall as part of the garden where children could pick lettuce leaves, nasturtiums, and herbs to add to their sandwiches, to make them enjoy the food growing in the garden. On Preview Day a group of children explored the Garden, and spent the day playing as was intended by the Designer. The Judges deliberation resulted in the award of a Gold Medal, which was displayed in pride of place on the Garden.
The idea of a garden at RHS Chelsea for this centenary year was the brainchild of Montessori Chief Executive Officer Leonor Stjepic and Ambassador Barbara Isaacs. A host of friends and supporters of Montessori were invited to special Champagne Receptions on the Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden, where Jody Lidgard explained how he arrived at his final design for the Garden.
The Montessori Centenary Children’s Garden will continue beyond Chelsea, as it is to spend a year at the Montessori St Nicholas Headquarters in St. Johns Wood, where it will be enjoyed by children. The Garden will then be transferred to The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, where visitors will be able to see the enjoyment and education that can be derived from a garden.