22 September 2012

A Visit To Prince Charles's Highgrove Garden

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 -


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

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!


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

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


Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

Loved this post!

Rosemary said...

I was disappointed that I could not take photos, as I am sure you were too, but I expect it is all to do with security.

My Garden Diaries said...

A stumpery!!! How insanely cool is that! I have never heard of that but what a unique way to display so many species of plants! WOW! I love learning something new! The gardens are beautiful...I would love to be one of the lucky 15 who get to tend to them!

High Heeled Life said...

LOVED! LOVED this post ... your words were brilliantly written and descriptive. How wonderful to have been able to see and experience the loveliness of the gardens!! Thank you for sharing with us .. xo C. (HHL)

Expat mum said...

Oh what a gorgeous garden. The house is pretty nice too! Thanks for sharing. Might have to include that on a trip home in the next few years.

Tammy Chrzan said...

You have a FANTASTIC blog! I can't wait to read more! Thanks! Tammy

Sissym said...

Simply stunning!

Emily said...

Ooohh! Thanks for the virtual tour! What a delight!

Naturally Carol said...

I loved these pictures..I can only imagine how beautiful it is in real life. I admire his quirky ways there too!

Holledayz said...

It is a great garden - we especially loved the Stumpery. I was with a group of ladies from London, we went the first day it opened in spring and I have never seen so many daffodils! We all commented on the absence of anything "Diana".....
I will not be able to attend the Bloggers Tea but I am looking forward to reading about it on your blog. Cheers!

...Tabiboo... said...

It looks like such a beautiful place to visit - tranquil and peaceful. Your picture of all the topiary trees looks almost like an oil painting.

Have a lovely weekend,

Nina x

Bookish Times said...

Hi Laura, lovely blog. Beautiful Photos :D
*New Follower*

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Welcome! Popping over to yours now... :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

That must have been amazing! Sorry to miss you at the tea - maybe next time ;)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Thank you!! You are so sweet ;)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Me too!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Thanks, Nita!

The Snowdrop Project said...

Hi Laura,
Wow, Highgrove looks wonderful.
The gardens look amazing, and wouldn't it be great to have a peek around the house too!!
Hope you have a lovely week,
Ps: all signed up for Bloggers tea party-so looking forward to meeting you

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Maybe our next Blogger's Tea could be at their house - wouldn't that be amazing?! See you on the 2nd ;)

Colores said...

I admire the gardening culture in your beautiful country.Not only Prince Charles but most of you have the thing for flower and garden culture!! Chapeau!!

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Looks great! Just the kind of garden I would expect Prince Charles to have! Ada :)

flowers on my table said...

Wow, what a wonderful day out! I am amazed that you could get refreshments there too. The Victorian Stumpery looks fabulous. I wish you all the best with your blogger tea, I wish I lived closer. Have a wonderful day, with much love, Linda x

Kristen {a little ditty} said...

The gardens sound and look beautiful! I love that quote you posted at the end!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

It looks LOVELY! That first photo is especially beautiful. Formal but still pretty.

Cheque in post....yay!


Happy Homemaker UK said...

Yea! See you next week ;)

Iota said...

How lovely to have a "stumpery". You could go there when you felt stumped.

Loved this post and your last one too. You really do sniff out the very best of British life, don't you?

Tammy Chrzan said...

I have to agree with Iota, in fact I came back to the blog in hopes that you have been somewhere else and I can look at the gorgeous photos!! :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Clever, you :)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

You are so sweet! Yes, come back :)

Emm in London said...

Oh wow, they look just incredible. Although I'm not sure I'd want to go if I couldn't take photos - it really is a deciding factor for me these days and the reason I havemn't visited Eltham Palace yet.

Gesci said...

This look gorgeous! What an opportunity. We've had a couple of sites we've happened to find out about before the open day- and it's such an exciting feeling. I do admire Charles' environmental efforts, and although I'm not a gardner I do appreciate a lovely one- so I'll have to keep this one in mind for sometime in the future! Thanks!

Leigh Powell Hines said...

Bet that was gorgeous. What time throughout the year is it open?

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Hi Leigh, I think usually Apr - Oct, but only when he is out of house. You would have to look online, as I think it varies based on his schedule. XOL

Ali said...

That's beautiful. No one loves their gardens like the English, that's for sure.

Ali x