Gardens – Visit to HRH King Charles Highgrove Garden in Gloucstershire

This proved a very popular event, with tickets selling out like the proverbial hot cakes.

Twelve of the eighteen attendees had taken up the pre Highgrove lunch option at Lyndsey’s café in Tetbury. It is a very picturesque small Cotswolds town, with an impressive church and market hall. Some of us had travelled long distances (those from Aberystwyth and Lincolnshire vied for who came the furthest) so arrived early. Others stayed locally for a few nights and visited a number of other local gardens. As we wandered around the town, we greeted fellow GOC Gardens Group members and soon formed a merry little band of tourists, briefly taking in the sights. Lots of chat as Lyndsey’s café catered well for us, with friendly service and tasty food. A great start to what would become a most memorable day.

Our convoy headed towards Highgrove and once past security, glimpses of the delights to come could be seen as we headed up the gravelled drive. We all gathered in reception to have our i.d’s checked, before being formally welcomed. To the dismay of some, we were reminded that no photos were allowed in the gardens.

Soon we were off, where we were enthralled by the sheer scale of the gardens, the variety of plants and the high standards of maintenance everywhere. Our knowledgeable guide discussed several points of interest and talked about the organic ethos at Highgrove over the past 40+ years. She told us the history of the place and about the people who have helped make it what it is today. We saw colourful meadows, woodlands, the exterior of the house covered in climbers, the productive walled garden, herbaceous borders, the stumpery and much more.

All too soon our ninety minutes were up, and we adjourned to the onsite restaurant for much needed refreshments. As we chilled in each other’s company. sharing our thoughts, there was a really friendly atmosphere and everyone seemed to really gel. The concensus was that the garden truly had the WOW factor.

As we bade our goodbyes, many were exchanging contact details and making plans to meet again.

It is a truly magnificent place but it is the coming together of kindred spirits enjoying each other’s company that makes it so special. We have made great memories that will remain with us for a long time. Many thanks to those who joined us.

As we were unable to take photos in the Gardens, the images make it look like we spent most of the day eating. Those who were there know otherwise!

Photo credits to Simon, Bill and Steve – thank you.

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