Highgrove: A Garden Celebrated

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Highgrove: A Garden Celebrated

The Prince of Wales’ passion for the natural world is legendary. Respect and reverence for the beauty and diversity of mother nature is the bedrock of HRH’s personal philosophy. Giving those deeply held beliefs expression has been a lifelong passion, even a crusade. Nowhere is this more visible than in the glorious gardens of the royal residence, Highgrove, set in the Gloucestershire countryside. Charles purchased Highgrove from the MP Maurice Macmillan, son of former Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, in 1980. Its construction dates back to the closing years of the eighteenth century when it was built in the Georgian classical style by the Paul family of Stroud, Gloucestershire.

(Above) Highgrove is famed for its magical Thyme Walk. There are few thyme lawns and walks left today, but they were very common in earlier gardens. (Top) Cottage Garden. This is no ordinary Cottage Garden where many plants achieve their pinnacle of colour in the earlier months of Summer. This space looks especially magical in early Autumn, as the soft light levels enhance the delights of the later flowers on the many perennials and annuals which are cleverly planted to enchant visitors.

(Above) Highgrove is famed for its magical Thyme Walk. There are few thyme lawns and walks left today, but they were very common in earlier gardens. (Top) Cottage Garden. This is no ordinary Cottage Garden where many plants achieve their pinnacle of colour in the earlier months of Summer. This space looks especially magical in early Autumn, as the soft light levels enhance the delights of the later flowers on the many perennials and annuals which are cleverly planted to enchant visitors.

Today the historic residence is the family home of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. The gardens are open to the public but back in 1980 there would not have been much for visitors to enjoy. There was little more than a brown path which ran around the house, a lawn and a few thorn bushes. But what a difference a few decades and the help of some of Britain’s finest designers – including the Marchioness of Salisbury, Rosemary Vere, Miriam Rothschild and Sir Roy Strong – can make! True to character HRH’s ambitions were not just to create beautiful gardens, but also to showcase how we can live in harmony with nature. The gardens have therefore been developed to be as self-sufficient as possible, with all green waste recycled for use in the gardens as mulching material or as compost. Natural predators are encouraged for pest control and only natural fertilizers are used.

(Above) The Carpet Garden is an exquisite, exotic site, and becomes heavy with scent and bright colours in July. The idea for this otherworldly garden came from one of the carpets at Highgrove.

(Above) The Carpet Garden is an exquisite, exotic site, and becomes heavy with scent and bright colours in July. The idea for this otherworldly garden came from one of the carpets at Highgrove.

The-Prince-of-Wales

One notable achievement arose as Charles wanted to protect and enhance native flora and fauna. On the advice of Miriam Rothschild, one of the country’s leading advocates of biodiversity, HRH has re-created a lost habitat by re-establishing a wild flower meadow. To bring the glory of the gardens and the environmental message to a wider audience Charles has co-authored a lavishly illustrated new book ‘Highgrove: A Garden Celebrated’. For enthusiasts or those unfamiliar or unable to visit the gardens it is an enchanting introduction to a natural wonderland, the fruits of a thirty-four year labour of love. ‘Highgrove: A Garden Celebrated’ is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. In hardback £35.00 eBook £17.99. Profits from the sale will be donated to The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation. (Royalty Magazine Vol. 23/06)