Have you ever wondered what King Charles' private garden at Sandringham estate looks like? Wonder no more.
The Sandringham Estate has been one of many private royal residences for four generations of British Monarchs since 1862 and was the favored home of both Charles III's grandfather and great-grandfather.
The house itself stands on 20,000 acres of land in the Norfolk Coast Area of Natural Beauty and for good reason. The landscaped gardens, park, and woodlands are listed as some of the finest on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens and the house itself is listed as a Grade II historical wonder.
As the house is rarely used as a full-time residence, it opens to the public for much of the year however closes at Christmas as the royals traditionally spend the holiday together in this special property.
Here, we take a tour of the estate's spectacular gardens that hold a special place in the King's heart.
Created by Geoffrey Jelicoe in 1947 for King George VI the formal enclosed areas of the garden are informally planted in a cottage garden style and are usually at their best in late July when they act as a haven for bees and butterflies.
The grounds have been developed in turn by each monarch since 1863 when King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra purchased the Estate.
The sixty-acre gardens sit with the thousands of acres of woodland and parks that stretch around the expanse of the property. The array of flowers, shrubbery, and wildlife make the gardens a delight to visit at any time of the year with year-round color being provided by the sheer variety of plant life.
Natural Springs feed the lakes and an ornamental stream planted with moisture-loving plants meandering through meadow areas. This part of the garden is managed in a more naturalistic style to encourage a wide range of wildlife. With a royal gardens' manager revealing his sustainable gardening secrets recently, it is unsurprising that the royal gardens at Sandringham also aspire to be a sanctuary for all sorts of creatures and plant life.
Nestled above the lake is an ornate summerhouse, affectionately called 'The Nest', while the gardens also house the King's Garden House. Once the residence of a head gardener, the property is now available to rent, set in one of the country's most idyllic garden settings.
Throughout the garden areas of informal lawn are dotted with trees of all ages including an oak tree planted by Queen Victoria and a Giant Red Wood tree planted by Princess Christian Of Denmark. The Oldest tree in the Garden is a Veteran Oak standing beside the upper lake, this is said to be over 8oo years old. There are sixteen species of oak in total around the estate, with many commemorative trees too.
The garden itself was landscaped in the Edwardian period giving the grounds the appearance of sweeping glades. The borders of trees and shrubs provide privacy while shielding the informal garden of color and interest throughout the year. Highlights of the garden include masses of spring-flowering bulbs and rows of rhododendrons and azaleas while lavender and rose beds are plants for fall color – extending the garden blossoming period through until the coldest days of winter.
The spectacular and ornate North Garden has been informally planted in a cottage garden style, making it a haven for bees & butterflies and offering aspirational inspiration for anyone's own cottage garden ideas. These colorful plants are surrounded by pristine hedgerows – perfect for spending time in during the spring and summer
The estate continues to hold a sentimental place in the royal family's hearts, with the Sandringham gardens being one of many Royal gardens remembering Prince Phillip for his green thumb.
It is expected that the new King will continue his family's tradition of holidaying at Sandringham for the Christmas period, and will likely deliver his first Christmas message as King from the same spot as his beloved mother.
Discover how to visit the Sandringham Estate
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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