Visit to Highgrove 12th June 2013

On a somewhat overcast day 26 of us visited the Prince of Wales’ Highgrove Estate (15 acres of garden tended by 12 gardeners as well as the HRH when he has time). In a short video made by Prince Charles, he explained the garden’s development and his organic principles. He incorporates lots of the gifts he receives into the various estate gardens. Camilla must be relieved that the urns etc. do not end up in the house!

Reclaimed ecclesiastical stone is used in landscaping the gardens. Perhaps HRH gets this as the next prospective head of the Church of England? The gardens also show that bind weed and ground elder are no respecters of princes and can only be got rid of organically by constant digging and weeding.

There is a large walled garden which incorporates a semi circle of apple trees pruned into the shape of coronets with the yellow crab apples in season to provide the golden balls.
The Arboretum includes the National Collection of 70 different specimens of Birch. Behind is the Sanctuary where HRH often goes to contemplate (it is his shed at the bottom of the garden but not a pigeon in sight!).

In the next garden are 3 beautiful large olive oil jars sculpted out of Welsh slate chippings.

The famous Wildflower Meadow Garden started with a seed mix nicknamed the ‘Gloucestershire Farmers’ Nightmare’.


The tree house built for young Princes William and Harry has Welsh slate stairs and is on 4 Welsh slate pillars.

The Prince’s Thyme Walk has 20 varieties of Thyme and shrubs clipped in to all sorts of geometric shapes .This is HRH’s pun that visitors walk through time along it!

The Prince has a statue of a child donated by Latch (a children’s’ cancer charity in Carmarthen who are invited to visit Highgrove every year).

Finally we entered the Turkish Carpet Garden designed by HRH and others and which won silvergilt at the 2001 Chelsea Flower show. The garden and central mosaic water feature were based on a Turkish carpet in Highgrove.
Many thanks to Anne Thomas who arranged a wonderful day out with impeccable timing, organisation and weather.

Peter & Eirwen Sykes

Summer Lunch 14th July

Hosted by Diane & Colin Thomas, 52 Windsor Road, Gerrards Cross, SL9 7NF

Cost £20 each
Note that parking may be difficult – there is limited parking in Wayside Gardens, Camp Road, Meadway Park and the Hedgerley Lane spur (right at the lights and right again).