I’ve always wanted to visit the Royal Gardens at Highgrove, so when I discovered Prince Charles talking about the gardens on the BBCs Gardeners Question Time I was very excited indeed.
I hadn’t realised His Royal Highness had such a passion for plants and fauna and listening to him and his team speak about the gardens was a joy – he was a true gentleman and he came across very humbly.
The Royal Gardens at Highgrove have been a labour of love for The Prince of Wales for more than three decades. In the programme he offered advice for young, amateur gardeners which I wanted to share on the blog.
His top royal tips are:
- Enjoy yourself
“Before you rush into things, see what you like and don’t like and then get stuck in. For me it’s the most marvellous, therapeutic business. You can get reward from it, but you can also be driven mad by it.”
- Take care with trees
“I planted a lot of the trees and I cut off the end of my finger, banging in stakes. I had to be taken to Swindon Hospital to have it sewn back on again.”
- Stay young
“I’ve tried to do that at Dumfries House… We’ve made a maze up there which is rather fun. I adored a maze when I was young. You just put yourself in the child’s position and sometimes it works.”
- Paint a picture
“I have an absolute passion… for delphiniums – and I’ve always had it. There’s something about those Edwardian watercolours… To me, gardening is rather like painting. You need to get the paint on – and not muck about.”
- Follow a path
“It’s always rather fun following a path… It’s always important to have paths that curve – you never quite know where you’re going.”
- Work with nature
“We’re losing so much that’s really precious. Just one example is the wildflower meadows all over this country. Most of them have disappeared. Dug up, ploughed up, sprayed. At the time, in the 60s and 70s, I hated it to such a degree. It seemed to be going too far.”
“Eventually it all comes round again and everybody’s running around like headless chickens, trying to save desperately what’s left… Suddenly they realise what has been done and the damage that’s been done. You want to be able to use nature as your assistant, but you want to give back in return for what you take.”
- Keep your chin up
“No two years are the same. So, what was a disaster one year will probably be a success the next year. So don’t despair. Nature’s quite interesting like that.”
Download the podcast of Prince Charles being interviewed on Gardeners Question Time here.