In 1980
Prince Charles bought Highgrove in Gloucestershire
as his home

The following year
he moved in and
proposed to Lady Diana Spencer

With easy access to London, Wales,
and other Western counties where the Duchy has most of its properties,
Highgrove continues to be Prince Charles's primary residence today

Lucky for me, the gardens are open to the public
a few times a year :) 

- sadly, no photography allowed -


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Prince Charles is widely known for being 
an 'environmental ambassador' (my words)

So not surprisingly,
his garden is chemical-free & organic
with many sustainable features


The Carpet Garden
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The Prince of Wales saw the property as a blank canvas
and was keen to create a garden that would
'feed the soul, warm the heart, and delight the eye'
as well as a space to experiment with some of his ideas

Although his 15 acres of cultivated gardens are managed by 15 gardeners,
you can definitely sense he has a strong role
in the planning and upkeep of the gardens

The property holds a national collection of ferns, hostas, and beech trees

And there are many different garden 'rooms' which hold exotic plants and flowers
as well as gifts from famous people and heads of state

I couldn't wait to see what surprise was around the next corner!


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Although quirky,
each gardener has his or her own yew topiary to clip as they please (above)
They have a bit of a competition among themselves
Just one example of how this garden is quite unique

Another interesting feature is the stumpery
which was popular during the fern-crazed Victorian era
but rarely seen in gardens today

A stumpery is an area of placed dead trees and stumps
providing natural vessels for plants (i.e. ferns & hostas)


The Stumpery
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Other unusual spaces include
the Carpet Garden that looks like an oriental rug,
a potager designed in a St George's Cross and St Andrew's Cross,
and the delightful playhouse built for Princes William and Harry

We finished our tour with yummy lunch and tea in The Orchard Room
and nosed around the shop

I walked away with this onsite quote (in hieroglyphs) buzzing in my head:
'The flowers in the garden are a reflection of the stars in the sky'

If you are a gardener, this innovate garden is a must see :)

Tour information: Highgrove
Alternatively, buy 'The Garden At Highgrove' book here

 
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