Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hats on for Highgrove

The golden rays hit my head like fireballs, I rummage in my hat drawer and drag out my brown cotton 1960s' cap.  Mr H nips out for a haircut and car wash despite the fact that I have told him the Prince and Duchess will not be taking tea with us. He has a day off from work for our early birthday celebrations; a tour of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwalls' Highgrove Gardens followed by a champagne afternoon tea. 

Mr H paces the kitchen floor as I turn from side to side to check my refection in the glass microwave door. I demand a photo for my blog before we set off, I snatch a second hat from the drawer as we leave...

We are asked to leave cameras and phones in the car and surprisingly I feel free as my eyes can seek without occupation.

The tour guide makes the small group giggle as he shares snippets of rehearsed gossip; we meander along behind him as he introduces us to plants and sculptures as though they are his best friends. He provides us with an insight into the methods used to maintain the organic principles used for the gardens.

Like a snake the group winds its way into the cottage garden, as we pass through a gate calm strokes its fingers across my soul, a lump rises in my throat and behind my sunglasses tears brighten my eyes. I cannot explain why this garden touches me as it does.

I turn slowly as the waves of colour engross me; multi coloured Aquilegias, my favourite flower are dotted everywhere; round headed dark purple Aliums, which I have planted at home, sway in the breeze. The garden is tucked between meticulous hedges and my urge to sit and absorb the tranquillity is broken by the need to move on. 

Mr H offers me the shooting stick he is carrying and I sit as the guide shares more Latin plant names and stories about the gardens' development.

He teases us with glimpses of the wild meadow before we arrive at the path surrounding it. My eyes devour the golden glow of millions of Buttercups, interspersed with blue/purple shades of bluebells and Carnassias mixed with late flowering cream and yellow daffodils. They share the field with fresh green grasses and budding wild flowers awaiting their turn to burst into colour. 

We pass through a maze of garden rooms, each one is individual yet they blend together like waves in the sea, I could go on and on....

My Brain Tumour experience has switched on the headlamp of wonder as I admire small miracles of nature. It was a privilege to see these gardens, I will return..

Not wanting to be outdone by the Queen of hats!, we left with a cap for Mr H purchased from the Highgrove shop.

Oh by the way I changed my mind about which hat to share this day with...

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