Highgrove gardens

An Illustrated talk, by Prince Charles’ head gardener David Howard.

The 25th of May was a busy day. Having enjoyed an inspiring morning at Chelsea flower show, I left the big smoke to return to the Island and enjoy an evening with David Howard. That is David plus 100 other avid listeners.

If you follow these blogs, you’ll remember that David’s last visit to the Island was marred by a lack of illustrations, albeit no fault of his own.

This time we had success, although there were was a rumbling in the stalls as the projector and slides needed final adjustments. David is clearly well experienced in these talks, and I suspect they may all follow a similar pattern, but never the less his insight and professional slides made for an interesting evening.

Practicing an organic garden service professionally, I was particularly interested with any comments, and advice he may have within this realm. Planting native wildflowers, utilising grazing livestock, replacing mono cultures with diversity, using sustainable furniture, harvesting tannic acid from spent T-bags, allowing chickens to grub around for pests, recycling materials in structures, and the list goes on, all sit comfortably within this organic criteria.

And as all of this was of interest, sometimes educational, it was something else that graped my attention. His and (Charles’) humour and pleasure.

It is sometimes easy to forget how we enjoy the garden, and David helped remind me that it is a pleasure, it can be humorous. It is all to easy to get caught up with the ‘rights and wrongs’ of how to be a good gardener, to the exclusion of our enjoyment.


And my favourite slide?…. well I love the stumpery with its native ferns, hostas and huge gunnera, but it was the combined sweet peas and runner beans archway that got me re thinking my vegetable plot at home!

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