We could have been in any park on Wednesday afternoon. The sun was shining. People were strolling, arm in arm, or in small groups. Some were stopping to admire the plants, others to take a picture with the impressive building behind us. There were even some dogs having a run. Closely pursued by a man in uniform who looked a bit frazzled: “gosh, you have caught us unawares” he said. The fitter dogs ran in the door of the building, the older one was scooped up and carried by uniformed man.
Those would be Her Majesty’s Corgis then. Having a little run in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Right in front of us.
As regular readers will know, we were invited to one of the famous Buckingham Palace Garden Parties this week, a real treat to be allowed into this most private of private gardens.
Covering nearly 40 acres including a 3 acre lake, the north side occupies part of the original site of a mulberry garden laid out by James I in 1609. In 1703 The Duke of Buckingham arranged for a more formal layout and in the 1820s George IV commissioned William Townsend Aiton, chief gardener at Kew, to remodel the gardens completely. It was he who created the lake, and the broad stretches of lawn famous for its camomile. he also built the mound and planted many of the London plane trees seen today. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth cleared much of the dense Victorian shrubberies and planted a wide selection of decorative flowering trees and shrubs — notably the 170 meter long herbaceous border. In 1961 the Queen added a curved avenue of Indian Chestnut running from the NW corner of the Palace. There are more than 200 matrue trees in the garden. In the centre of the Rose Garden stands the imposing Waterloo Vase, made from carrara marble and positioned in 1903. Originally made for Napoleon, it was given by King Edward VII.
I know the invite said no photography, but hey, how often is #HDYGG going to feature Buckingham Palace? It felt like it was my duty to get photos of it and if I got arrested in the process, well that would make a second blog post.
It is photos like the two below that also remind you this is, after all, a family garden
And if you think taking photos in a place you have been explicitly told NOT to take photos is nerve wracking, you try doing it after walking over a piece of land that looks like it is expressly forbidden to walk. But there is a sign with writing on it that clearly says more than “keep off the grass” so you HAVE to go and photograph it, right?
It also surprised me to see a rather large lake in the middle of one of the most expensive parts of London
And here, to finish it off, is a sneaky peek of one of the cakes we enjoyed.
it really was the most perfect of afternoons. Even if it did drizzle for ten minutes, we just hid under a huge tree and made the most of the fact we were in the Queen’s actual garden.
Now if you will excuse, I need to go and hide in case I am about to get arrested.