Cowart's Common Room

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Yesterday, I visited the gardens at Highgrove, home to HRH Prince Charles. Until very recently, the waiting lists to visit were years long, but that has all changed, and now it is possible to visit at relatively short notice. I went along with a group of 24 like minded souls, including a smattering of gardening royalty in the form of James Alexander-Sinclair, Cleve West, and Anne-Marie Powell who I had met previously at Malvern.

Security was high, and we weren't permitted cameras or mobile phones, and the security cameras and police presence was obvious. To get in we had to be vetted beforehand, and take with us photo id.

Some areas were wonderful, others didnt live up to my expectations having owned the book about the garden for a number of years. Like most gardens of its age, it has peeked, and I think they are starting top rethink some of the plantings, certainly the black and white garden no longer existed, and was awash with bruise coloured dahlias and fluffy pink cosmos! Its definitely a garden that is evolving.

My fave bits were the veg garden, which was very lovely, a perfect potager, and the stumpery, although this had also lost some of its stature compared to the book images.

Would I go again? Yep - I'd like to see it at a different time of year, and would recommend a trip to anyone who is interested in gardens.

Posted at 3rd Sep 2010 - 10:54AM   Posted by Zoe   Highgrove Comments: 9

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar I would like to go. I have twice missed group outings due to other commitments. Perhaps one day . . .

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 3rd Sep 2010 at 11:10AM

Rosie, it is no longer necessary to go as part of a group, they do what our guide yesterday described as 'random' tours, which are at the beginning or end of each day the garden is open, and individuals/couples/families may go along and join a 'random' group.

Posted by: Zoe on 3rd Sep 2010 at 12:05PM

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar Thanks, Zoe, when I am home again I will remember that. It is not too far to go from South Wales.

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 3rd Sep 2010 at 12:06PM

Dancing Dog's Avatar Looks lovely, I also have the book. Maybe next time I'm over I can take advantage of a tour.

Posted by: Dancing Dog on 3rd Sep 2010 at 12:54PM

Faith's Avatar Yes, I have the book too. Well, it was Daddy's and I kept it after he died. I like to see the gardens, shame you couldnt take photos Zoe.

Posted by: Faith on 3rd Sep 2010 at 03:05PM

Withy Brook's Avatar I would love to see it, but it is a long way from Northumberland and I do not see a reason to go to that bit of England at the moment.
Glad to hear that they understand that no garden should be static. It should develop/change all the time.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 3rd Sep 2010 at 09:27PM

Camilla's Avatar Looks lovely and very grandeur Zoe, would love to go there, maybe one day. I have a little book wrote by Charles neighbour, the Prince has wrote a foreword page to the book, all about her gardens and the changing of the seasons.

Posted by: Camilla on 4th Sep 2010 at 02:22AM

Westerwitch's Avatar Garden visiting envy here.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 4th Sep 2010 at 11:18AM

Salle de Bain's Avatar Yep...another book owner here. I'm so glad to read this Zoe, as I thought it was only group bookings and a hugely long waiting list so I'd kind of given up on ever seeing it!

Posted by: Salle de Bain on 4th Sep 2010 at 10:17PM

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