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Hampton Court Palace

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Continued from page 3

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ABOVE: Springtime arrives in the Sunken Garden.

The Gardens

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 waste.)

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 1995.

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 sidebar).

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.

Next page: Guided tours of the palace




Photo copyright © HRP. Used by permission.

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