Five primary students from The Gower School, Islington, showcased the Gold medallist Montessori Centenary Garden – a children’s ‘Space To Grow’ garden at the Chelsea Flower Show – celebrating 100 years of Montessori teacher training in the UK. The children, aged four to seven, were praised for being very confident and able, as they showcased the beautiful garden to dozens of celebrity visitors during the opening of the garden.
Barbara Isaacs, Montessori Global Ambassador praised The Gower School students: “This part of the garden really represents ‘children’ – vibrant and full of energy, each different, yet part of the whole. We would not have had a better representation of a Montessori learning community. The children engaged with all aspects of the garden – planting, exploring with the under water camera, decorating the den with giant pebbles, drew flowers and talked to visitors, they showed how engaging the garden is and how well they cooperate and enjoy exploring the environment. The children were the stars of the day and great ambassadors for Montessori!”
The garden has been designed by Jody Lidgard and his team from Bespoke Outdoor Spaces. It demonstrates learning opportunities presented to children attending Montessori settings, such as planting and caring for flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetable and also harvesting them. It includes a small greenhouse, edible wall, flowers and trees and a water feature and a learning space. The charity has been working with The Gower School children on designing a garden of their own, as well as designing a T-shirt to commemorate the special day. The children were able to discover the natural world in a fun and interactive way. The children explored the garden, made posies from the flowers exhibited and presented them to the visitors to the garden.
Jody Lidgard, the designer of the garden said: “This is a space that is designed to be experienced and enjoyed by children, teaching them about the natural world and allowing them to explore horticulture in their own way.”
The Gower School student Jeanne Pacquement, age seven, said she had a “magical day”.
School Principal Emma Gowers congratulated the children, saying: “We are thrilled that our school was chosen to represent UK Montessori education, and the children had a very special day to remember. We had a fantastic time, and it was great to see the children using every area of this sensory garden. I was extremely proud to see the children confidently inviting visitors to come and see the garden, and sharing their discoveries with them.”