Mention the name Frogmore, and some people will instantly remember it is the resting place of the late Queen Mother, to name but one of many of the Royal Family throughout the years who lay in the Mausoleum or elsewhere. However, as visitors can find this week the Gardens are far more than that, they are 35 acres of calm and serenity that have been enjoyed since the time of Charles II.
The landscaped gardens however, were somewhat later almost 225 years ago under the instructions of Queen Charlotte. Queen Victoria was a great supporter of the gardens and many of the buildings and memorials were erected during her reign. These were both through personal loss in the case of her mother, and Prince Albert her husband, but also there is an onion-domed Indian kiosk in white marble. This was given to Queen Victoria in 1858 by Lord Canning following the Indian Mutiny.
Sadly, like many large gardens, Frogmore’s fell into disrepair in the early part of the twentieth century. As part of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, the gardens were revitalised and designed to be at their best in the spring when the Queen is in residence. In addition to the splashes of colour from orchids, rhododendrons and ceanothus; three golden Gleditsea trees given to the Queen by the Duke of Westminster for her Golden Wedding in 1997 rub shoulders with Victorian plane trees, favoured in many municipal parks, and ancient oaks.
In addition to enjoying the serenity of the garden like the rest of her family, The Queen pays an active interest into the planting. According to Neil Dodds, Head Gardener at Frogmore “Her Majesty takes a great deal of interest in the garden. And the Duke is very hands-on, too.”. There is also some co-operation with her son, Prince Charles, as the leaves from the trees at Frogmore provide mulch for his gardens at Highgrove.
Frogmore House and Gardens will be open between the 7th and 9th June as part of the National Garden Scheme, for more information please go to www.ngs.org.uk. If I have whetted your appetite with regards to the House & Gardens, then please check out the Royal Central website for other articles on all the various follies and memorials that have been built in the garden through the centuries.
By WyrdLight.com, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6916723