Inside ‘serene’ Buckingham Palace gardens: From ice rink to weekly flower tradition

David Domoney gives a tour of Buckingham Palace Garden

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Horticulturist David Domoney showed viewers around the Palace’s magnificent gardens, including 24 rose beds planted for special occasions. This includes Prince William’s birth, and the Queen and Prince Philip’s Golden Wedding anniversary. David, who was wearing a pink Platinum Jubilee rose on his jacket, said: “Every plant, every tree has a story and that’s what makes it special.”

Walking around the grounds, David approached a large tree with high branches.

He said: “Now here’s an attention to detail. One of the pruning guides to the trees near the party lawn is that the lower branches are all trimmed off.

“So when somebody walks underneath it with a top hat, it doesn’t get knocked off.”

There are also areas in the garden where the landscaping is a lot more natural.

This includes big areas of wild garden, allowing wildlife to make home in the Queen’s grounds.

David also said the garden provides habitat for native birds rarely seen in London.

He continued: “Let me introduce you to the Queen’s bees. There are five hives of little bees all producing anywhere up to 200 jars of honey for the Queen’s kitchen every year.”

The lake on the grounds also provides a habitat for several ducks and other wildlife.

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In Victorian times, David said it used to freeze over and ice skaters were known to use it to practise.

The gardening expert added: “One of those ice skaters, rumoured, was Prince Albert and whilst he was out there, the ice broke and he actually went into the water.

“Now the person who went in and saved him was Queen Victoria.

“This garden is absolutely full of fascinating stories.”

Today, David said the garden is “incredibly serene” and “bursting with colour”.

With an impressive 24 rose beds in the garden, the expert said each bed is home to around 60 roses.

He added: “They look marvellous and many of them were planted for special occasions.”

There is a royal William rose, as well as a stunning yellow rose with a plaque saying it was gifted to the Queen and Prince Philip for their golden wedding anniversary in 1997.

David also shared tips for gardeners wanting to bring a touch of “royalty” into their own gardens.

He said: “You can’t go far wrong with a rose. 

“It’s not just the beauty of how it looks, it’s the beautiful fragrance you get with it.”

The expert also explained that a posy of flowers is given to the Queen every week, a tradition which started 30 years ago.

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