• Kate Middleton's mom, Carole Middleton, said she loves to plant with her grandchildren
  • The duchess' mother explained that it's "important" for kids to "grow up appreciating nature"
  • Carole said gardening with kids encourages healthy eating as they can see how their food is grown

Kate Middleton's mom, Carole Middleton, has revealed how she bonds with her grandchildren.

The Duchess of Cambridge's mother, 66, loves gardening and has passed on her passion for growing plants to her grandkids. Carole is grandmother to Duchess Kate and Prince William's three kids, Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 3, as well as Arthur, 2, and newborn Grace from younger daughter Pippa Middleton and her husband James Matthews.

"If I'm doing planting with my grandchildren, I like to have it all laid out at 'activity stations' with their own little trowel and pot so they can get started immediately," Carole told the U.K.'s Saga magazine for their May issue. "It's no good calling children over to an activity, only for you then to have to fuss about looking for the right equipment and clearing a space. They'll soon lose interest and slope off."

"It's important for children to grow up appreciating nature and part of that is allowing them to get a bit muddy," she added.

Carole also shared that she has been growing her own vegetables. She said gardening has kept her busy during the lockdowns, and she finds it a great way to teach kids about growing food and eating healthy.

"Growing potatoes is a simple one to start with, and digging for spuds is fun at any age," she explained. "We also grow carrots, beetroot and onions, and there's no better way to encourage healthy eating than to allow your grandchildren to see how food is grown and let them pick their own."

Middleton has inherited her mom's love of the outdoors. When the duchess appeared on "Happy Mum, Happy Baby" podcast last year, she was asked to complete the sentence "I'm happy when…"

"I'm with my family outside in the countryside and we're all filthy dirty," Duchess Kate replied.

She continued, "I remember that from my childhood – doing the simple things, going for a walk together, and that's really what I try and do with my children as well because it totally strips away all the complications, all the pressures… as a parent and I think these experiences as well mean so much to children and the world that they're in which is a real adventure for them at that age."

Her husband, Prince William, is also supportive of the idea of letting their children spend more time outdoors.

When the royal couple visited Sweden and Norway in 2018, Prince William said he learned one lesson after observing that the Swedish people embrace the great outdoors regardless of the weather and temperature.

"One lesson that we will take home with us is that children are actively encouraged to spend time outdoors, whatever the weather," Prince William said. "This is obviously very good for their physical health but, as we learnt this morning at the remarkable Karolinska Institute, it has huge benefits for a child's mental health as well."

Carole Middleton, Kate Middleton
Carole Middleton recently talked about Kate Middleton and her grandchildren. Pictured: The Middletons smiles as her mother Carole looks on as they arrive at The Goring Hotel after visiting Westminster Abbey on April 28, 2011 in London, England. Getty Images/Christopher Furlong