No, that’s not the Queen and Prince Philip on this raised walkway that looks like the prow of a ship – and no, I haven’t been to Royal Ascot, although I have mingled with the hats and suits on their way there. I have in fact been to visit Elder Daughter and The Poppet for a couple of days (involving trains on their way to Ascot) and yesterday the three of us visited the Savill Garden, created in the 1930s within the royal estate of Windsor Great Park by Sir Eric Savill, originally Deputy Ranger of the park but becoming Director of the gardens and remaining involved with them even beyond his retirement in 1970 and until his death in 1980.
With areas known as the Spring Wood, Summer Gardens, Summer Wood, Autumn Wood, Azalea Walks amongst others it is clearly going to be a garden for different seasons, and the highlight of our visit yesterday was certainly the Rose Garden. Until the 1950s there were no roses here as the garden had originally been conceived as a spring woodland, but increasing numbers of visitors throughout the year led to an area being developed with roses, replanted periodically to ring the changes. Once into the new century a radical change of direction was planned, and Wilson McWilliam Associates won a design competition to redevelop the rose garden. Focussing on fragrance, the concept of intensity was developed with the idea that perfumes and colours could be concentrated as visitors walked towards the centre, with a raised walkway providing a different view.
The curves and interlocking crescents contain 28 different roses, chosen for their scent, repeat flowering and vigour, and were interplanted with grasses, and the design certainly works, particularly if you visit on a warm June day when the scent and colour is stunning.
It was noticeable here and throughout the garden there was no economy in planting numbers and the whole garden is immaculate, thanks to the Queen’s large purse one assumes. ‘The Crown’ own many acres, much of it with public access, in this part of England and Elder Daughter tells me that SinL has seen both the Queen and Prince Philip when out and about, the former driving, the latter walking. I wonder whether Charles and his siblings have discussions about whether or not their mother should still be driving at her age, as my siblings and I do….