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Buckingham Palace garden explored in new Royal Collection Trust book featuring tips from the Head Gardener
The Rose Garden at Buckingham Palace.Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021. Photo: John Campbell.

LONDON.- Royal Collection Trust’s latest publication follows a year in the life of the famous garden at Buckingham Palace, giving readers a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes management of this hidden oasis in the heart of London.

Written by garden writer Claire Masset, the book offers insights into the garden’s rich history and its use today as part of a working royal palace. Atmospheric images by the award-winning photographer John Campbell reveal how the garden changes and develops over the course of a year. Throughout the book seasonal gardening tips are provided by Mark Lane, Head Gardener at Buckingham Palace.

The 39-acre garden at Buckingham Palace fulfils many roles. It is Her Majesty The Queen’s private London garden, but it also plays a key part in the busy calendar of royal events. The most famous of these events are The Queen’s Garden Parties, which in an average year see around 24,000 guests from all walks of life welcomed into the garden each summer.

The book takes readers on a tour of the garden’s main features, from its sweeping lawns, 156-metre Herbaceous Border and wildflower meadows to the Rose Garden and 3.5-acre lake, complete with a waterfall and a secluded island that provides a haven for wildlife. Despite its urban location, the garden is home to a remarkable array of flora and fauna, including rare native plants seldom seen in London.

Readers will learn about the seasonal posies created for Her Majesty The Queen every Monday when she is in residence and will discover the stories behind the commemorative trees planted by generations of the Royal Family, including the two plane trees introduced by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

The book also explores how the gardeners balance the best horticultural practices with a nature-friendly, sustainable approach, ensuring that the garden will be enjoyed by generations to come.

Facts and figures

• In 1762 Queen Charlotte established a menagerie in the garden. It included an elephant, monkeys and one of the first zebras ever seen in England.

• Since 2000 the garden has held the National Collection of Mulberries. Mulberry trees were first planted in the garden by James I in 1608.

• Traditionally, The Queen hosts three Garden Parties a year at Buckingham Palace. Each is attended by 8,000 guests, who consume around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake.

• Since 2008 the island in the lake has been home to five beehives, which produce around 160 jars of honey a year for use in the royal kitchens.

• There are more than 1,000 trees in the garden, including 98 plane trees, 85 different species of oak and 40 different types of mulberry tree.

• The Rose Garden contains 25 beds of roses. Each bed is planted with 60 rose bushes of a different variety, and no two adjacent beds are of a similar colour.

• Royal Collection Trust’s ‘Buckingham Palace Gin’ is infused with botanicals from the garden, including lemon verbena, hawthorn berries, bay leaves and mulberry leaves.

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