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To celebrate the first anniversary of Grow Club, on Monday 29th April we visited the glorious 15 acres of gardens of Highgrove, private residence of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, for a tour of the gardens followed by a visit to Westonbirt Arboretum.

King Charles acquired Highgrove House and Gardens in 1980 and has worked tirelessly to create a beautiful series of interlinked gardens providing an important habitat for a wide range of fauna and flora. The Gardens and Estate are managed ethically, organically, and sustainably ensuring that waste materials are recycled responsibly.

During our garden tour, we were fascinated to learn about The King’s Foundation which offers workshops, programmes and short courses, focused on heritage and craft skills through its Highgrove Traditional Crafts initiative. Highlights included the ornamental walled ‘Kitchen Garden’ including the 'Apple Tunnel', the quirky and sculptural ‘Stumpery’, the eccentric clipped yews of the 'Thyme Walk', and the ‘Wildflower Meadow’, a 4-acre untamed landscape which changes with the seasons, providing hay and grazing for the animals.

After enjoying tea in The Orchard Restaurant, we moved onto the very lovely Westonbirt, The National Aboretum on the adjacent estate where we admired the breathtaking 2,500 species of tree, including stunning acers, incense cedars, and Giant Redwoods. Most of our photos from the day were taken here as cameras are not allowed inside the private grounds of Highgrove!

It was agreed that the day had been hugely inspirational and enjoyable - one to definitely repeat in the coming seasons.

Mrs Leonie Moylan, Grow Club Staff Lead