A couple of weeks ago we had a few days up in London, staying with one of my brothers and his family. Hampton Court, the palatial playground of King Henry VIII, was just down the road and, as I’d not been since I was ten, I thought it would be great to take my daughter and niece there for the afternoon. On arrival they predictably headed straight for the gift shop. And I headed… yes, you’ve guessed it… straight to the kitchen gardens.
Here, I loved the idea of using small clay pots as planting labels, and studied with avarice the rustic oak cloches and fenced raised beds. There were a few late roses loitering in the walled gardens. Some were still flagrantly powerful enough to make me sniff the air like a basset hound, going up and down the border until I’d tracked the culprit down and plunged my nose into its petals. (Now you know why my daughter prefers to go around these places without me).
Then it was off to the kitchen’s, followed by the formal Georgian gardens and the longest grapevine in the world. Planted in 1768, I thought it might also be the oldest, but no… that goes to one in Slovenia that is 400 years old!
Had the girls noticed this horticultural marvel? Who knows… I eventually found them educating themselves in various flavours of cake in the cafe. And I happily joined them.
Here’s some snaps of our day at Hampton Court Palace. Please click on the photos to see more detail and thoughts…