A Right Royal Retreat
The secrets to the Queen’s back garden revealed
Royal Collection Trust’s latest publication follows a year in the life of the famous garden at Buckingham Palace, giving readers a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes management of this hidden oasis in the heart of London.
Written by garden writer Claire Masset, the book offers insights into the garden’s rich history and its use today as part of a working royal palace. Atmospheric images by the award-winning photographer John Campbell reveal how the garden changes and develops over the course of a year. Throughout the book seasonal gardening tips are provided by Mark Lane, Head Gardener at Buckingham Palace.
The 39-acre garden at Buckingham Palace fulfils many roles. It is Her Majesty The Queen’s private London garden, but it also plays a key part in the busy calendar of royal events. The most famous of these events are The Queen’s Garden Parties, which in an average year see around 24,000 guests from all walks of life welcomed into the garden each summer.
The book takes readers on a tour of the garden’s main features, from its sweeping lawns, 156-metre Herbaceous Border and wildflower meadows to the Rose Garden and 3.5-acre lake, complete with a waterfall and a secluded island that provides a haven for wildlife. Despite its urban location, the garden is home to a remarkable array of flora and fauna, including rare native plants seldom seen in London.
Readers will learn about the seasonal posies created for Her Majesty The Queen every Monday when she is in residence and will discover the stories behind the commemorative trees planted by generations of the Royal Family, including the two plane trees introduced by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The book also explores how the gardeners balance the best horticultural practices with a nature-friendly, sustainable approach, ensuring that the garden will be enjoyed by generations to come.