The most famous organic gardener in the world is probably Prince Charles. In 1980, he bought Highgrove House intending it to be a permanent home. He was determined to turn it into a completely organic farm and garden. When he first bought the property there was hardly a garden at all. “It was difficult to know where to begin and I knew nothing about the practical aspects of gardening.” he stated in his book, Highgrove: portrait of an Estate. Prince Charles hired accomplished gardeners, including Mariam Rothschild and Sir Roy Strong, to help him reach his goal of an organic garden. They created different gardens for different occasions. Just a few of the gardens are: a wild flower garden; a formal garden; and a walled kitchen garden designed by Lady Salisbury, an expert on organic gardening. The walled kitchen garden is on its way to making the estate completely self-sufficient.
According to the official Highgrove House website, it takes about two hours to walk through the gardens guided by one of Prince Charles’ highly qualified guides. There are two different tours available to groups. The regular tour takes a group of twenty six people through the garden and ends with tea and refreshments in the Orchard Restaurant. The Champagne Tea tour, however, is a group of only sixteen people and ends in the Orchard Restaurant where the group is served tea and a glass of Highgrove champagne. After tours are completed, groups have the opportunity to eat in the Orchard Restaurant. The restaurant serves light lunches, heavy meals, and small cakes. A light lunch consists of a soup and/or sandwich. For a heavier meal, they serve pasta dishes, chicken , and fish. Everything on the menu is made with organic and local ingredients. Arrangements can be made for gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian meals.
Special events often take place at Highgrove. They offer workshops, a recent one was about keeping chickens, they have a Christmas banquet with wine, a two-course meal, and any shopping that needs to be done in the Highgrove shops, and lectures by experts in their fields, such as Shane Connolly.