Sunday, 14 April 2019

Highgrove Royal Gardens: Gardens that feed the soul, warm the heart and delight the eye by Carlo Vuolo


Beautiful views of Highgrove
Highgrove Royal Gardens – Gardens that feed the soul, warm the heart and delight the eye. 

On March 14th Cirencester Scene magazine attended an invitation only media event at Highgrove Royal Gardens to celebrate 25 years of garden tours. We get a lot of invitations and can’t go to them all, but this was one we certainly didn’t want to turn down. Highgrove has been home to HRH Prince Charles for over 38 years and, in
Exquisite views
that time, he has overseen the transformation of the grounds from open meadow land with a few gnarled old trees into a wonderful journey around ‘around the world’ by means of several interlinked gardens. Organic principles and sustainability are key aspects of the development and evolution of the gardens, with rainwater being collected and stored, sewage cleaned via reed beds and all organic material composted.

Although many of the plants had yet to reach their full spring abundance, this was a good time to visit to appreciate the ‘skeleton’ on which the various gardens are designed before the foliage and blooms take over. A wildflower meadow, fascinating topiary, a walled kitchen garden and a Mediterranean garden are just some of the exquisite features to be seen. All over the gardens are quirky buildings, sculptures, fountains and many, many huge Ali Baba style pots, including two enormous sherry pots from Portugal, which were posted, simply, to ‘The Prince of Wales, Tetbury’. Not
Gardens
surprisingly the unwitting courier delivered them to the local pub!

Following our 90-minute tour, in fresh spring sunshine, led by one of Highgrove’s very knowledgeable guides, we enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea in front of a roaring fire, with cakes and sandwiches served on tiered plates, in the beautiful Orchard Room - highly recommended, especially if you like chocolate brownies.

Pre-booking for the garden tours is essential, and they run from April to October each year. This year, for the first time, visitors will be able to take photographs in specific areas. More information can be found on the website – highgrovegardens.com.

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