By Royal Appointment

The long borders at Buckingham Palace. What does this have to do with Chartwell I hear you ask?  Read on...

The long borders at Buckingham Palace.
What does this have to do with Chartwell I hear you ask? Read on…

While The Queen has never officially visited Chartwell, the Queen Mother did of course back in 1990 as we discussed in our blog about the Oscar Nemon sculpure of Sir Winston and Clementine Churchill which you can view again by clicking here. Last week it was the turn of some of the Chartwell garden team to pay a visit to Her Majesty instead! Now, while that isn’t quite true, we did get a chance to spend a day in the gardens of Buckingham Palace as part of The Coronation Festival. Taking place between the 11th and 14th of July, the festival celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Queen’s coronation by bringing together over 200 companies who hold Royal Warrants of Appointment (or seals of approval to you and me!). More information on the festival can be found by clicking right here.

Sir Winston and Gavin Jones admiring the rock garden at Chartwell

Sir Winston and Gavin Jones admiring the rock garden at Chartwell

So why were some of the gardeners from Chartwell at the event, you may ask? Well, while we aren’t the official Queen’s garden or gardeners of course (!), we do have important links to one of the Royal Warrant Holders, Gavin Jones Ltd. As the Queens’ official Landscape Maintenance Contractor, the team at Gavin Jones invited us to be a part of their celebrations due to the fact that the Rock Garden here at Chartwell was designed by Gavin Jones and spotted by Lady Churchill at the 1948 Chelsea Flower Show where it won a gold medal. It was installed here soon afterwards with some help from German POW’s who were here at the time. The rock garden is still standing today, just as it was back then, complete with some extra rocks that Sir Winston ordered from Jones in subsequent years. More information on Gavin Jones can be seen on their website, right here.

One of the display books on the Gavin Jones stand at the Coronation Festival, showing our rock garden as it was first presented at Chelsea

One of the display books on the Gavin Jones stand at the Coronation Festival, showing our rock garden as it was first presented at Chelsea

We were very pleased to be invited to the festival by Gavin Jones and very honoured to be able to look around the gardens at Buckingham Palace. We didn’t get to see the Queen but she did visit the Gavin Jones stand the day before, one of only five that she spent time at. Below are some of the pictures we took on the day…

Myself, Rhiannon Harris (no relation!) and Head Gardener Giles Palmer at the Gavin Jones exhibit.  Don't we look smart?

Myself, Rhiannon Harris (no relation!) and Head Gardener Giles Palmer at the Gavin Jones exhibit. Don’t we look smart?

A potting shed at the Home and Gardens section of the show.  Ours here at Chartwell doesn't look this tidy I assure you!

A potting shed at the Home and Gardens section of the show. Ours here at Chartwell doesn’t look this tidy I assure you!

We had a good look at the Queen's Rose Garden and herbaceous borders.  Nice work, your majesty!

We had a good look at the Queen’s Rose Garden and herbaceous borders. Nice work, your majesty!

A rarely seen shot of the side of Buck House!

A rarely seen shot of the side of Buck House!

We even had time to view some of the other exhibits.  Rhiannon took a liking to this sporty little number...

We even had time to view some of the other exhibits. Rhiannon took a liking to this sporty little number…

While Giles was a big fan of the technology zone!

While Giles was a big fan of the technology zone!

And as it was so hot we made sure we had time for some refreshments at the end of the day!

And as it was so hot we made sure we had time for some refreshments at the end of the day!

Most people don’t get a chance to have as much access to the Buckingham Palace gardens as we did last week but it’s much easier to come and see Sir Winston Churchill’s gardens here at Chartwell of course! Just make sure you check out the Gavin Jones rock garden when you do. Here are some pictures of how it looks these days…

Looking up towards the rock garden from the entrance path...

Looking up towards the rock garden from the entrance path…

...and looking down from the top of the bank

…and looking down from the top of the bank

We hope that Sir Winston and Gavin Jones would both be pleased to see that it still looks much the same today as when they finished installing it all those years ago.

Jamie

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Chartwell Life, Garden History

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s