> Royal gardens: Most expensive royal gardens to run belonging to Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry and more.
Royal residences are multi-million-pound properties, and most come with sprawling grounds. Have you ever wondered how much it must cost to keep the gardens pristine? Chris Bonnett, the founder of Gardening Express, analysed our favourite royal gardens exclusively for HELLO! to reveal the priciest spaces.
Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla’s garden at Highgrove House
Starting with the most expensive, Chris revealed: “I would suggest that out of the four properties, the Highgrove House Gardens would be the most expensive to maintain, because they cover 15 acres of all organic gardens and use high tech maintenance systems, plus the gardens welcome around 40,000 visitors each year.”
Chris points out: “Methods employed here are traditional, but tech is embraced making many jobs quicker and easier – modern battery powered tools, for example, to make tasks a little bit simpler or to control irrigation from an app on a smartphone.”
Going on to add: “Prince Charles is very hands on, so if you visit, you may well see areas he has planted or pruned personally and I’m not sure on his hourly rate!”
The Queen’s garden at Windsor Castle
“Second in the ranking would be Windsor Castle gardens because there is over 5,000 acres of land divided across the extensive parkland and three gardens,” says Chris.
“The East Terrace Garden includes yew domes and 3,500 rose bushes planted in a geometric pattern around a central fountain; The Jubilee Garden is the most recent one, it was created in 2002 and it’s filled with trees, roses, and flowering shrubs.”
Chris acknowledges: “An apprentice gardener here may expect to start off on a basic salary of around £20,000, but more experienced hands would earn more to work there.”
Prince William and Duchess Kate’s garden at Kensington Palace
While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have their own modest garden at Kensington Palace, they also have access to the wider expanse of 265 acres of palace gardens too. Chris explains: “Kensington Palace Gardens will likely come in third place and elements that can drive the maintenance costs up are the amazing water features in the Italian Gardens and maintaining the Round Pond.”
The Sunken Garden is a real highlight, and was one of Princess Diana’s favourite places. Chris points out that “visitors can admire blooming geraniums, cannas and begonias in the summer or tulips, wallflowers and pansies in springtime” when there.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s garden at Santa Barbara home
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s garden will be the least expensive to maintain, as although it looks amazing, it’s not open for visitors and covers just over seven acres of land, which compared to the other properties can be considered small-scale,” reasons Chris.
“It has a more unique style than the other royal gardens, as it is filled with tropical plants and trees in relaxed-looking flower beds. They’ve also got a large playground, an on-site-pond, a chicken coop, and a vegetable patch to grow their own veggies,” he reveals.
“To maintain this little lot, you’d probably want two or three full-time people on board as a minimum. And with the drought experienced here this year, their biggest garden bill could be water to keep things lush – a new low maintenance drought resistant design may be in order.”
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