About Me

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SW London
A semi-mature, hardy individual who tries to get away with doing as little as possible in gardening as in life, still expects the best results & wonders why she is frequently disappointed! She likes to keep a photographic record of everything, good & frequently bad!

Friday, 11 September 2009

A Right Royal Romp


Sorry, no salacious gossip on some minor royal, and 'romp' was well over the top as it was a rather more sedate walk round Hampton Court Palace gardens & park.

Whilst looking in the London edition of the NGS booklet recently I noticed that there was an evening visit to the above, the last of a series of evening openings with specialist talks. We used to go to Hampton Court quite frequently, often armed with an M&S ‘picnic’, and wander round the grounds. But when they extended the area which you had to pay to enter we more or less gave up. It was thus very tempting to have a wander round after joe public had left. Missing tickets due to the postal strike did not deter us & off we went yesterday evening.

The specialist talk was about trees so we were accompanied by a most handsome chap who told us all sorts of interesting facts about the Hampton Court trees. For instance these trees

042originally looked like these trees

040At the beginning of our meander I saw the largest clumps of mistletoe I have ever seen



The top picture shows the privy garden which was re-created as it was in 1702. I have added a few other snaps.




The yews are trimmed every 3 years. This shows all the lumps & bumps that gradually appear over many years of trimming. Should they be trimmed to produce even shapes as the newer topiary in the privet garden is or should they remain as currently with their own unique shapes?

054 In the park we saw one of the few remaining original lime trees planted in the early 1700’s. Apparently limes become hollow as they age which of course does cause problems although they support a hugely diverse wildlife population.

Finally, as it was getting dark we went into the 20th Century garden which I, & many other people, did not know existed although it is open to the public. It was, until recently, used as a training garden for the gardeners & contains many lovely trees & number of beech hedges containing archways.

A really enjoyable evening & very interesting. It could have done with being a bit longer & perhaps started earlier as it was tricky seeing things by the end. This was followed by an excellent meal in our local Indian restaurant – perfect!


  1. Sounds like a great tour! I was particularly impressed with the Palace gardens when I went to the flower show in July. We sneaked (snuck?) into the gardens after the show and had a good look around.

    BTW I like your blog titles - keep it up!

  2. Well it has prompted me to go back & have a longer wander. They have done quite alot since I was last there.

    Thanks for the title comment. I think I will regard you as my blog mentor!!