Celebrating the Queen’s love of her gardens at Sandringham
PUBLISHED: 10:38 28 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:38 28 April 2018
She has some of the finest gardens in all the land. And her favourite of them all is in Norfolk.
Paintings and porcelain from the Queen’s private collection have gone on show at Sandringham.
The exhibition, in the Royal museum, celebrates the monarch’s love of her gardens.
In her introduction Helen Walch, the estate’s public access manager, writes: “The gardens at Sandringham are regarded as the best of the Royal gardens, and it is perhaps no surprise that the house, too, should be full of flowers represented in paint and in china, on objects both highly practical and solely decorative.
“This exhibition has brought together some supreme examples of the arts of the potter and of the painter, from this country and from the other side of the world, collected by several generations of the Royal Family.
“All of the exhibits on display have come from the private rooms of Sandringham House and so they are very rarely seen.”
In King Edward VII’s days Sandringham had a 100-strong army of gardeners to tend its 65 acres.
In those days, many lived in a bothy - a workers’ hostel with more rules than you could shake a spade at.
They included not wearing hobnailed boots upstairs, compulsory attendance at church at least once on Sundays and not showing people around the gardens without permission.
Tucked amid the botanical studies and landscapes and still lifes around the walls are two vivid paintings of cottages at Balmoral, in Scotland, by the Duke of Edinburgh, who is a keen painter who was taught by the renowned Norfolk artist Edward Seago.
The exhibition also includes a painting by the Duke’s uncle, Prince Nicholas of Greece, who was also an artist.
Sandringham’s gardens were first opened to the public by Edward VII in 1908.
Today there are woodland walks, carrstone rockeries, a formal garden with avenues of lime trees and a stream walk.
There are also sweeping, immaculately-mown lawns parterres, a pair of spring-fed lakes and a summerhouse christened the Nest when it was built for Queen Alexandra.
The gardens are open to the public from 10.30am - 4.30pm. The exhibition is in the museum, which is open from 11am - 4.30pm.