Royal Gardens at Highgrove reach 25 year milestone
The private residence of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Highgrove, nestled within the Cotswold countryside, celebrates a special milestone this year as the garden marks 25 years of being open to the public.
The house itself dates back to between 1796 and 1798 and was built in a Georgian neo-classical design on the site of an older property. When His Royal Highness moved to Highgrove it possessed little more than a neglected kitchen garden, an overgrown copse and some pastureland. Since then it has undergone many thoughtful and innovative changes all influenced and overseen by the Prince of Wales.
The Royal Gardens at Highgrove have raised over £7 million from the garden tours during the past 25 years, for the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, and from the early days the public has enjoyed visiting the gardens surrounding the house. Today, some 37,000 visitors a year discover how the land adjoining the house has been transformed into a series of highly individual ‘outdoor rooms’ which embody the Prince’s gardening ideals and organic principles.
Rare trees and plants have been grown for future generations to enjoy and heritage seeds planted to ensure these varieties continue to flourish. The grounds offer a feeling of peace and tranquillity set against the Cotswold landscape and perfectly sitting in harmony with nature. Highgrove is living proof that organic methods can work to benefit nature.
Christine Prescott, Chief Executive Officer at Highgrove Enterprises said: “2019 is indeed a celebratory year for Highgrove. Visitors can not only experience the incredible gardens with one of the Prince’s expert garden guides and discover the history, inspiration and unique organic management that happens at Highgrove we also have a full calendar of events scheduled throughout the year to enable a wider audience to visit the estate. It is truly wonderful at any time of the year to walk through the gardens and enjoy the beautiful seasonal colours, the scent of the flora and the sounds of the birds and wildlife that enrich Highgrove.”
The Prince of Wales (pictured left in the garden) opened the gardens 25 years ago specifically in order to raise money for charity. The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund is a grant making body which helps a wide range of causes, including projects in the built-environment, young people and education.
Among the projects supported by the Fund is Tusk, tackling the poaching crisis facing many of Africa’s iconic species; the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) Highgrove Enterprises Apprentice for 2018/2019 – Jack Silberrad – who is being supported in his apprenticeship in bee keeping; Streetwise Opera, a charity helping people who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness and Big Kid, a charity that equips young people at risk of social exclusion and youth violence to take control of their lives and discover their potential.
As HRH The Prince of Wales points out in “The Gardens at Highgrove“, “My aim has always been to try and enhance the setting of the house in the landscape and, above all, to please the eye, warm the heart and feed the soul. One of my greatest joys is to see the pleasure that the garden can bring to many of the visitors and that everybody seems to find some part of it that is special to them.”
I know from personal experience of my own visits to Highgrove that the garden does indeed feed the soul and warm the heart no matter what season one visits.
The gardens are open to individuals and groups from April to October every year. For more information please visit: https://www.highgrovegardens.com
Picture credits: All photographs are strictly © Highgrove Enterprises Ltd., Photograph of HRH The Prince of Wales credit Marianne Majerus.