Tuesday 22 September 2015

A Special Garden Tour

I hinted yesterday that we were off on a very special trip out. We did indeed have a great day ahead of us which we have been looking forward to for some time. We had out tickets and photo ID ready for a visit to the Gardens of Highgrove.

 HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall open their private gardens regularly to the public. We were given very specific instructions to arrive no more than 15 minutes before our start time. All cameras, phones and other recording devices had to be left in the car. 
The weather was threatening to be against us. The journey up required full windscreen wipers. It was only as we left the pub ( more on that tomorrow) that the rain stopped and the sun tentatively began to emerge.
 The tour lasted two hours with a very informative guide called Cicely. The grass paths were muddy from the rain and we were glad of our recommended sturdy shoes. We were taken through a large number of gardens over an area of 20 acres showing a variety of garden design and architecture by several different designers. The overwhelming ethos is that the organic garden and house should be in harmony with nature. The motto quoted to us on several occasions was to 'Let it Be'. This is certainly so for the shrubs climbing over the house. The house is gradually disappearing beneath them. There is even a  'curtain' of foliage draped across the front door. In contrast there are are hundreds of feet of hedges and topiary all neatly trimmed.
 My favourite gardens were the Cottage Garden, the Stumpery and the Thyme Walk. The topiary shapes in this latter area are all different and designed individually by the 10 gardeners. I also liked the personal snippets such as the tree house built for Princes William and Harry, that Prince George has recently helped his grandfather plant a tree and that Prince Charles will often appear in the garden as the last visitors leave.
 What I didn't like was not having my camera. It goes most places with me and I looked at the possible shots and vistas with a quiet envy and a feeling of nakedness! This must be one of the most photo empty posts I have done!
What an enjoyable day it was. Something to talk about and reflect on for some time. We enjoyed a lovely cream tea and a browse around the shop. I did buy something and perhaps I will show it to you later in the year. Wait and see!


  1. Yes I bet that feeling of being without your camera was a very weird one! A bit like going out without a bag..I always have a bag, I never just stuff my keys and purse in my pocket lol But what a treat! A right royal day out to remember.

  2. sounds fascinating with plenty to see and smell - I agree not having a camera to hand feels very odd

  3. Ooo, I didn't know they did garden tours at Highgrove. I'd feel naked without my camera as well ... I'm not sure how I'd feel about not having any photos to look back on.

  4. OH WOW - you are most fortunate with that tour. I hope at least you could purchase postcards of the gardens as keepsakes.

  5. Oh I was thinking up guesses for yesterday's post and totally forgot to come back and write. Anyway, this was not one of them. SOunds like a lovely thing to do. Pity about pics - I wonder if it is a security thing or just to preserve the mystery. I'm sure it's been on TV quite a bit.

  6. I've known several people who have visited and they've all commented on how much they wish they could have taken photos. I've enjoyed the various documentaries that have given glimpses of the garden and its history.