Royal palace's garden manager shares the secret to Kensington Palace's pristine lawns

The expert who prepares the royal palace gardens for spring and summer is urging you to do the same

Royal garden tips, lawn at Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace lawn
(Image credit: Historic Royal Palaces)

If you're an avid admirer of the British Royal family, you will already be familiar with the vast grandeur of Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace gardens. 

Home to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kensington Palace is one of the most prestigious and high-profile properties in the United Kingdom. Hampton Court Palace has an equally noble history, dating back to Henry VIII's reign. Preserving the magnificent grounds of these globally-renowned properties is, therefore, an art, which is practiced and mastered by a select number of gardeners- one of which is Graham Dillamore.

Graham is the Gardens Manager at Historic Royal Palaces, the team that cares for six of the most recognizable palaces and their publicly accessible gardens in Great Britain. 

Royal garden tips, lawn at Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace lawn

(Image credit: Historic Royal Palaces)

How to keep your lawn pristine

Working for the charity, who maintains these formal gardens has taught Mr. Dillamore a host of invaluable garden skills, many of which you can replicate in your own garden. 

Speaking exclusively to Homes & Gardens, the manager revealed the importance of preparing your grass for summer. 'Palace gardens are synonymous with pristine lawns, which can be tricky to master,' he explains.

'Two problems we have across the gardens we care for are moss and thatch, caused by compacting of the soil. We host a lot of events on-site – from outdoor cinema screenings to food festivals – but in a domestic setting, everything from a paddling pool to a gazebo can be to blame.'

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Royal palace' garden manager explains how to get a perfect lawn in time for summer

(Image credit: Historic Royal Palaces)

To combat the patches of unsightly moss Graham recommends spiking your lawn regularly. Especially if you're planning your own garden parties this summer.

'Take time to get your lawn ready for summer, especially if you know it's going to be heavily used,' Graham advises. 'Spike your lawn as much as possible and give it a good spring feed before the crowds arrive, and don't mow too short.'

'After each event, we try to spike again to relieve compaction and also drag a brush across the lawn to perk up the turf, which will get some air into the grass and freshen things up,' the manager reveals.

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After weeks of snow and cold weather, many of our lawns have taken a battering. While it might not be the same as contending with a legion of visitors on a daily basis, Graham's tips should ensure your lawn is looking fit for royalty come summer.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.