Hobnobbing With the Royals

IMG_2362No, 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.

IMG_2366It 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….

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17 Responses to Hobnobbing With the Royals

  1. Jane Brewer says:

    How beautiful the roses are! I am just imagining the scents as I walk towards the centre.

  2. Kris P says:

    What a pleasant place to spend a few hours. Can you imagine trying to take away the Queen’s car keys? (You don’t need to answer that.) My mother had stopped driving long before I actually took her keys but it was still a major hullabaloo.

    • Cathy says:

      🙂 And it is an increasingly common problem – how many of us could recognise when we are no longer able able to drive safely…?

  3. bittster says:

    The scent must be fantastic.
    These large scale plantings don’t always hold my attention much after the first wow, but with the sun and fragrance I bet it’s a good place for a nap!

  4. Pauline says:

    Lovely roses, the perfume must have been wonderful! Last time we were there was in rhododendron time a few years ago, certainly colourful! Must try it at a different time of year next time.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, the seasonal areas will be very different out of season. Although it is close to where ED lives it is quite expensive if you haven’t a 2 for 1 voucher, so it will be Wisley for free again next time!

  5. Sally says:

    What a wonderful place to take a stroll. I love the perfectly trimmed shrubs and there are so many roses it must smell amazing!.

  6. Wow! It looks, and must smell, amazing! It’s lovely to see roses displayed in a more contemporary way, with the grasses and blocks of hedges. And the benches are a must! It’s in my diary for next year!

  7. Christina says:

    Can’t say I really like roses planted like this, but the gardens are always worth a visit.

    • Cathy says:

      I suppose in gardens like this the scale is always going to be different – out of rose season there would be little to see there though

  8. barbedwords says:

    I love Savill Garden, it always a great place to take a stroll – plus it’s got fabulous tea rooms!

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