In recent years Audlem Probus Club has visited many of the United Kingdom's famous Gardens and Houses but even by their standards the recent exclusive group tour of Highgrove Gardens was rather special.
Highgrove is the family home of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and he has developed the Gardens into a centre of excellence for organic gardening.
It was a full coach that set off for the Cotswolds were we were booked in for an early ‘Highgrove Lunch’ at the Priory Inn in the picturesque small market town of Tetbury, located just a few minutes from Highgrove.
Since 1980 HRH The Prince of Wales has worked ceaselessly to create one of the most imaginative and inspired gardens of our time. Adhering strictly to the organic principles that His Royal Highness so passionately believes in and emphasized in his introduction to our tour, the Gardens at Highgrove clearly demonstrate his belief in sustainable methods, encouraging both plants and wildlife to thrive in a very natural environment.
The Gardens are a series of interlinked spaces, each with their own character and purpose. Weaving magically around the House they respond to the seasons by ever changing colour and texture.
Apart from the many favoured and rare varieties of flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables, Highgrove is also home to part of the National Collection of Beech trees.
One of the most striking features of the Garden is the manner in which architure has been incorporated into landscape and planting, clearly seen in the Woodland Garden with the Oak Temples and Stumpery.
It was also noticeable that the plants and flowers were allowed to spread over the pathways and seed themselves naturally without being subject to the excessive manicure of so many gardens.
At the end of the tour there was time for afternoon tea in The Orchard Room and browse in the Highgrove Shop with the chance to buy a souvenir of our visit.
A memorable and enjoyable day and we now look forward to our next outing, something completely different, a tour of The Morgan Car Factory!
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