ABOVE: Springtime arrives in the Sunken
Hampton Court Palace has 60 acres of formal gardens and 750
acres of royal parkland, tended by 38 gardeners and specialists. The palace's
"facts and figures" sheet reports that 200,000 flowering bulbs are planted
through the formal gardens, 140,000 plants are grown in the palace nurseries,
and there are some 8,000 trees in the Hampton Court Palace gardens and estate.
(Home composters take note: The gardeners recycle 95% of the palace's green
The palace gardens date back to the 16th Century, when the first
Privy Garden was laid out between 1530 and 1538 for King Henry VIII. The layout
was changed in the early 1600s, and again after 1659 when William and Mary had
the gardens rebuilt in the Baroque style of the Continental courts. More changes
occurred in the 18th Century, and by the mid-19th Century, the old formal
gardens had given way to an informal park setting with lawns and trees.
More recently, in the early 1990s, archaeologists and historians
began a project to restore William and Mary's Privy Garden to its 1702 state.
The restored, historically accurate Privy Garden was reopened to the public in
Other major attractions in the Hampton Court Palace gardens
include the Tender Exotics Collection (displayed between June and September),
the Wilderness in the North Gardens (currently planted with more than 1 million
bulbs), the Maze (allow 20 minutes to reach the center), and the Great Vine (see
Visiting the Gardens: Some areas of the Hampton Court
Palace Gardens are open to the public without charge; others require a ticket
during the summer season.
© HRP. Used by permission.