Has green-fingered Kate found a new calling? Gardening-mad Duchess of Cambridge could take advantage of seed-swapping scheme on her doorstep
- Phone box is turned into a gardening seed swap just 200 yards from Kate’s home
- Locals hope that the Duchess of Cambridge will visit the seed-swaping box soon
- She revealed just last June that her children loved growing plants from seeds
The estate, which owns most of Anmer’s houses, bought it for £1 under a BT scheme that lets residents choose a new community use for the boxes
As a royal who’s truly engaged with gardening, the Duchess of Cambridge could take advantage of a seed-swapping scheme based in a disused red telephone box on her own doorstep.
It is just 200 yards from Kate’s home at Anmer Hall on the Queen’s 20,000-acre Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
The estate, which owns most of Anmer’s houses, bought it for £1 under a BT scheme that lets residents choose a new community use for the boxes.
It is understood the Duchess has yet to use the kiosk, but she revealed last June that her children loved growing plants from seeds.
The venture was launched at the end of last year and has proved to be blooming poplar with local gardeners.
The traditional KD3 style box has been fitted out with shelves and has separate trays for packets of hardy and perennial plant seeds and another for vegetables.
Current packets available to swap include Canary Creeper, Black Eyed Susan and Morning Glory with vegetable seeds including turnips and cabbages.
Signs on the kiosk say: ‘For all keen gardeners and growers! This is a ‘free’ seed-swopping (sic) venture. Just bring any unused seeds, suitably labelled, that you no longer want and swop (sic) them for some others you might like to try. Have a grow (go!)’.
It is just 200 yards from Kate’s home at Anmer Hall on the Queen’s 20,000-acre Sandringham estate in Norfolk
A villager behind the scheme who asked not to be named, said: ‘The orthodox thing is to put books into old phone boxes, but we decided against that.
‘We have plastic containers, and I put a few packets of seeds in there a few months ago to start the ball rolling. Now we are getting close to Spring, it will come into its own.
‘The idea is quite simple. When you buy seeds and plant them in your garden, you always have some left over. Now you can just take them down to the kiosk, and leave them there, and see if anything else takes your fancy.
‘We got someone in the village to put the shelves in. The door and the light needs a bit of work on it, but this something we can work on. It is a village effort.’
Another villager said: ‘We have got some very keen gardeners in the village and they are very happy to share things.
It is understood that the Duchess has yet to use the seed swap scheme, but locals hope she will visit the box soon
‘I was given a chili growing kit as a Christmas present and I used half of them, and put the rest in the kiosk. Someone has helped themselves to them already and that is how it should be.’
It is understood that the Duchess has yet to use the seed swap scheme, but locals hope she will visit the box soon.
She is known to enjoy pottering around her garden at Anmer which has its own vegetable patch and fruit trees.
She famously co-designed a Back to Nature garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2019, creating a playful oasis inspired by her own childhood, complete with a stream, tree house and rope swing.
Kate revealed last June that her children George, Charlotte and Louis loved visiting garden centres and had been growing tomato plants from seeds.
BT launched its Adopt a Kiosk programme in 2008 as the rise of mobile phones led to a huge drop in demand for phone payphones. Since them more than 6,600 boxes have been taken on by communities for just £1 each.