Drawing with young gardeners at Highgrove

Last week 37 children from  St Alphege School in Solihull were invited to spend the day at Highgrove, The Prince of Wales’ official residence in Gloucestershire. They were the winners of Mygrove, The Prince’s online gardening competition for schools.

Two of our Drawing Year alumni, now tutors on The Prince’s Drawing Clubs, went along to Highgrove to spend the day drawing with the children in the orchard. Jonathan Farr and Constanza Dessain, both practising artists, encouraged the children to look carefully at the trees and plants around them and capture them on paper using coloured chalks.




Jonathan explained that the drawing workshop began by “playing a game of ‘consequences’ first of all, with the children using trees instead of humans as subject matter. Each student chose a tree to begin with, drew what they imagined the roots to be like, then folded it over, passed it on to a friend and they had to draw the trunk, followed by the branches and then the leaves…

“We then asked the children to sit in the orchard in a circle facing outwards. They draw the section of the garden they could see in front of them, with the aim of putting all the drawings next to each other to make a panoramic drawing of 360 degrees.

“The day went very well and the children were all very friendly and up for drawing. The day took place just after a huge thunderstorm so the weather was very hot and heavy and the children did really well concentrating and putting in energy to their work.”

The Prince said, “I often think that gardening is a bit like painting. No matter how big or small the piece of paper or canvas you start with, it is what you create which matters!”

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As well as drawing, the children took part in a number of activities throughout the day, including making Summer berry cheesecakes and exploring the garden with activity sheets hunting for anything beginning with the letters of Mygrove and planting Forget Me Not seeds in pots with HRH’s gardeners.

Nicola Sumpter, a parent who co-runs the St Alphege gardening club, said: “We were delighted to become involved in the Mygrove blog and showcase what we do. It’s amazing to be at Highgrove today. It’s a phenomenal experience for the children to be a part of and we feel so privileged to have won.”

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All images are copyright of Clarence House.


One thought on “Drawing with young gardeners at Highgrove

  1. What an inspirational way of rewarding and encouraging the children. The results illustrate the inherent talent that these young people have. We owe so much to The Prince of Wales. Thank you, Your Royal Highness, for your encouragement. No-one who visits the Highgrove Gardens can fail to be inspired by the wonderful atmosphere that has been created there.

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