Collection Magazine - Issue 1 - Autumn/Winter 22/23 - Magazine - Page 92
When he’s not busy with his day job as Chief
Operating Officer of the Stafford Collection,
one of Stuart Procter’s little-known passions
is for tending to his flower beds. The keen
gardener escaped the city to explore the private
Gloucestershire residence of His Majesty
The King (formerly The Prince of Wales) and
Her Majesty The Queen Consort (formerly
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall), discovering
the serenity awaiting any visitor to Highgrove…
It is quite simply one of the country’s most beautiful, tranquil, and enchanting gardens
and, for thousands of people every year, it offers a fleeting glimpse into the private world
of His Majesty King Charles III.
Humming with the sound of birdsong and trickling water, and the air thick with the
heady scent of English cottage garden flowers, the organic gardens at Highgrove are
always buzzing with life.
The Georgian Cotswolds estate is home to arguably the best royal gardener in history,
His Majesty The King, who has lovingly designed and nurtured the 15 acres that surround the
house, creating one of the nation's most important contemporary gardens — and putting my
own garden quite to shame. A series of enclosures merge harmoniously before spreading out
to views of fields, distant woods, dovecotes and the glorious spire of St. Mary’s Church rising
above the jumbled limestone roofs of the market town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire.
It is hard to believe that, just over 40 years ago, none of this existed. But what's even more
awe-inspiring is that the King was neither a trained garden designer nor a horticulturalist when
he undertook the colossal challenge which has transformed and enriched his life ever since.
When the King bought Highgrove in 1980 from Maurice Macmillan, son of the former
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, the grounds consisted of a brown path which ran
around the house, a lawn, a few thorn bushes and an old kitchen garden. There was also a
magnificent and graceful cedar of Lebanon, one of the features of Highgrove with which he
fell in love. Over the course of almost four decades, the King has transformed the grounds
into a garden that is acknowledged as one of the most inspired and innovative in the UK.