Royal Garden Secrets
week sees the Hampton Court Flower Show. Without any
doubt the show’s biggest asset has always been
its fabulous setting next to the gardens of Hampton
Court. Here are a selection of tit bits you might not
know about Britain’s best royal garden.
1. Hampton Court became royal when Henry VIII became
jealous of the palace Cardinal Wolsey had built for
himself and took it away.
2. Henry VIII’s favourite wife Jane Seymour died
at Hampton Court and his fifth wife, Catherine Howard,
who was beheaded, is supposed to haunt the palace.
3. The gardens have got surviving evidence from six
4. The gardens were first opened to the public, free,
by Queen Victoria in 1838. Today more people –
1.3 million – visit Hampton Court than any other
garden in Britain. Entry is still free except for certain
5. ‘Capability’ Brown was once in charge
of the gardens.
6. Hampton Court has the oldest and largest grape vine
in the world. The ‘Great Vine’ was planted
in 1768, it has always had its own greenhouse, its record
crop was 2,245 bunches of grapes in 1807 and today it
averages 500-700 bunches a year.
7. The famous maze was originally planted in Queen Anne’s
reign, the hedges stretch for half a mile and it takes
on average twenty minutes to reach the middle.
8. The Privy Garden (see illustration) between the palace
and River Thames was completely dug up ten years ago
and restored exactly to the design and planting of when
it was originally made for William and Mary.
9. 250,000 flowering bulbs are planted in the gardens
10. The Hampton Court Show is the largest flower show
Photograph: Crown Copyright, Historic Royal
reprinted with permission from Greenfingers.com