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Blooming butterfly catches Kate’s eye in royal gardening competition

Twelve-year-old Jessica’s winning creation will now appear in the Duchess of Cambridge’s ‘Back to Nature’ garden at RHS Wisley.

The Duchess of Cambridge with winner Jessica (centre) and the runners up of Blue Peter’s sculpture competition (Kensington Palace/PA)
The Duchess of Cambridge with winner Jessica (centre) and the runners up of Blue Peter’s sculpture competition (Kensington Palace/PA)

By Tess de la Mare, PA

An enormous butterfly sculpture made from wood and recycled metal will be featured in the Duchess of Cambridge’s “Back to Nature” garden after its 12-year-old designer won a Blue Peter competition.

Jessica’s design featured a twisted thorax sculpted from wood and a trellis of recycled metal in the shape of butterfly wings for brightly coloured clematis flowers to grow over.

At its centre hangs a set of wind chimes, and the first flowers have already started to grow over its wings.

The duchess launched the Royal Garden competition in June – calling for Blue Peter viewers to design a sculpture featuring natural materials for the garden she designed for the Chelsea Flower Show.

The winning sculpture will now appear in the garden in its new home at RHS Wisley in Surrey.

Hundreds of entries were whittled down to just 30 by Blue Peter’s judging panel, which included Kate and the Royal Horticultural Society’s youth ambassador George Hassell.

The winning design was brought to life by professional crafts people over the course of a week.

Jessica, from Lincolnshire, was speechless when she saw her creation for the first time, saying only: “That’s really cool.”

Kate was equally impressed, saying: “Oh wow, look at it – it’s amazing. It’s enormous.”

She added: “It’s going to be so lovely year after year coming back to see how it’s growing and how it’s all developing.”

The duchess is the proud owner of both a gold Blue Peter Badge and a new green Blue Peter badge – which is awarded to champions of the environment, conservation and nature.

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The Duchess Of Cambridge during a visit to the ‘Back To Nature’ Festival at RHS Garden Wisley, in Woking, Surrey (PA)

Kate gained her rare gold badge after appearing on the show with husband the Duke of Cambridge in 2017, receiving the honour for their work on children’s mental health.

The garden competition was part of the duchess’ ongoing mission to encourage children and families to get back to nature, and highlight the positive impact that nature and the environment can have on childhood development.

Her woodland wilderness garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in May featured a high-platform tree house, a rope swing, a rustic den and a campfire as well as tree stumps, stepping stones and a hollow log for children to play on.

George, Charlotte and Louis were taken on a visit to see it by Kate and William, and the Cambridge children spent around an hour playing in its stream and running around its woodland paths.

PA

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