Buckingham Palace's garden oasis is seen in full bloom

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Buckingham Palace's garden oasis is seen in full bloom

It's the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen which is visited by thousands of tourists every year. But Buckingham Palace isn't just an impo

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It’s the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen which is visited by thousands of tourists every year. 

But Buckingham Palace isn’t just an imposing building patrolled by royal guards in the centre of London. 

It also boasts a 39-acre garden containing wildflower meadows, a rose garden and a three-and-a-half acre lake – all of which are revealed in a new behind-the-scenes book.  

Buckingham Palace: A Royal Garden charts a year in the life of the city oasis and also reveals that the monarch receives a seasonal posy, made from the garden’s blooms, every Monday when she is in residence.

The tradition, which began in 1992, sees half a dozen fresh flowers, chosen by the Queen’s Royal Florist, placed in a vase on the Queen’s writing table each week.

In winter, as an alternative to flowers, the posies feature a mix of evergreen leaves and colourful berries.

In the summer, sweet peas are often used, taken from the 15 sweet pea wigwams in the 512ft herbaceous border.

The Palace’s head gardener, Mark Lane, shares his tips on how he cares for the garden throughout the year.

Buckingham Palace's 39-acre garden, which contains wildflower meadows, a rose garden and a three-and-a-half acre lake, is revealed in new behind-the-scenes book Buckingham Palace: A Royal Garden. Pictured: The garden's 523ft long herbaceous border

Buckingham Palace’s 39-acre garden, which contains wildflower meadows, a rose garden and a three-and-a-half acre lake, is revealed in new behind-the-scenes book Buckingham Palace: A Royal Garden. Pictured: The garden’s 523ft long herbaceous border

The book also reveals that the Queen receives a seasonal posy, made from the garden's blooms, every Monday when she is in residence. Pictured: The garden's two most famous plane trees are known as Victoria and Albert. They are named after Queen Victoria and her beloved consort. The couple planted the trees more than 150 years ago

The book also reveals that the Queen receives a seasonal posy, made from the garden’s blooms, every Monday when she is in residence. Pictured: The garden’s two most famous plane trees are known as Victoria and Albert. They are named after Queen Victoria and her beloved consort. The couple planted the trees more than 150 years ago

Some 24,000 guests usually traipse over the grass in the summer during the Queen’s three garden parties, leaving the lawn in need of repair. 

But the coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancellation of all the gatherings in both 2020 and 2021.

The lawn has to be mown weekly as soon as the grass starts growing in the spring to keep it at the right height, while the edges are painstakingly clipped to add precision.

Stripes are created in formal areas of lawn using a mower with a built-in roller to help lead the eye and make the garden or lawn look larger, as well as framing the flower borders.

There are more than 1,000 trees in the central London garden, including 98 plane trees, 85 different species of oak and 40 different types of mulberry tree.

The Royal Collection Trust’s Buckingham Palace Gin is infused with botanicals collected from the garden, including lemon verbena, hawthorn berries, bay leaves and mulberry leaves.

Some 24,000 guests usually traipse over the grass in the summer during the Queen's three garden parties, leaving the lawn in need of repair. Pictured: Buckingham Palace's rose garden, as revealed in the new book

Some 24,000 guests usually traipse over the grass in the summer during the Queen’s three garden parties, leaving the lawn in need of repair. Pictured: Buckingham Palace’s rose garden, as revealed in the new book

The lawn has to be mown weekly as soon as the grass starts growing in the spring to keep it at the right height, while the edges are painstakingly clipped to add precision. Pictured: A curving path in the garden which leads to the rose garden

The lawn has to be mown weekly as soon as the grass starts growing in the spring to keep it at the right height, while the edges are painstakingly clipped to add precision. Pictured: A curving path in the garden which leads to the rose garden

The lake features a waterfall and a secluded island which acts as a haven for wildlife, including five beehives. Pictured: The palace as viewed from the other side of the 3.5acre lake

The lake features a waterfall and a secluded island which acts as a haven for wildlife, including five beehives. Pictured: The palace as viewed from the other side of the 3.5acre lake 

Pictured: A member of the gardening team tends to the palace lawn. It requires a lot of care to keep it perfect condition whilst accommodating the the thousands of visitors who walk across it each year

Pictured: A member of the gardening team tends to the palace lawn. It requires a lot of care to keep it perfect condition whilst accommodating the the thousands of visitors who walk across it each year

The rose garden contains 25 beds of roses, with each one planted with 60 rose bushes of a different variety.

No two adjacent beds are of a similar colour.

There are also 200 different varieties of camellias in the garden.

The lake features a waterfall and a secluded island which acts as a haven for wildlife, including five beehives.

They produce 160 jars of honey a year for use in the royal kitchens.

Over the years, many resident kings and queens have appreciated the garden’s spring flowering shrubs and trees. 

The bees which live in hives on the lake's island produce around 160 jars of honey a year for use in the royal kitchens

The bees which live in hives on the lake’s island produce around 160 jars of honey a year for use in the royal kitchens

The garden's waterfall helps to circulate oxygen in the lake, allowing the water to remain clean and clear. The Queen is therefore able to enjoy the delights which the lake attracts

The garden’s waterfall helps to circulate oxygen in the lake, allowing the water to remain clean and clear. The Queen is therefore able to enjoy the delights which the lake attracts

The tradition of giving the Queen a seasonal posy sees half a dozen fresh flowers, chosen by the Queen's Royal Florist, placed in a vase on the her writing table each week. In winter, as an alternative to flowers, the posies feature a mix of evergreen leaves and colourful berries. Pictured: One of the winter posies

The tradition of giving the Queen a seasonal posy sees half a dozen fresh flowers, chosen by the Queen’s Royal Florist, placed in a vase on the her writing table each week. In winter, as an alternative to flowers, the posies feature a mix of evergreen leaves and colourful berries. Pictured: One of the winter posies

Royal Collection Trust's latest publication follows a year in the life of the famous garden at Buckingham Palace, giving readers a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes management of this hidden oasis in the heart of London. Pictured: A member of the gardening team tends to the roses

Royal Collection Trust’s latest publication follows a year in the life of the famous garden at Buckingham Palace, giving readers a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes management of this hidden oasis in the heart of London. Pictured: A member of the gardening team tends to the roses

During the 1930s and 1940s, the Queen’s mother and father, George VI and Queen Elizabeth, oversaw the planting of magnolias, cherries and camellias, many of which still thrive today.

Queen Victoria noted in her diary in May 1843: ‘It was so fine in our pretty garden, with all the azaleas & rhododendrons out.’

In April 1844 she wrote of ‘all the lilacs coming out & the apple trees loaded with blossom’.

In 1762, Queen Charlotte established a menagerie in the garden, including an elephant, monkeys and one of the first zebras ever seen in England.  

The book is available for £14.95 from Royal Collection Trust shops and at www.rct.uk/shop and can also be bought from other outlets.  

Over the years, many resident kings and queens have appreciated the garden's spring flowering shrubs and trees. Pictured: The stunning lake

Over the years, many resident kings and queens have appreciated the garden’s spring flowering shrubs and trees. Pictured: The stunning lake

The book is available for £14.95 from Royal Collection Trust shops and at www.rct.uk/shop and can also be bought from other outlets

The book is available for £14.95 from Royal Collection Trust shops and at www.rct.uk/shop and can also be bought from other outlets

Buckingham Palace: A brief history

A house has stood on the site of Buckingham Palace since the late 17th-Century, when King James I was on the throne.

However, the building which forms the core of what people to see today was built in 1703 and was then known as Buckingham House.

It fell under royal ownership when King George III bought the home in 1761 for his wife, Queen Charlotte. It became known as the Queen’s House and was the birth place of 14 of the king’s 15 children.

After coming to the throne in 1820, King George IV decided to transform the house into a palace with the aid of his architect John Nash. Nash remained faithful to the original house but doubled its size by adding a further suite of rooms.

A house has stood on the site of Buckingham Palace since the late 17th-Century, when King James I was on the throne. However, the building which forms the core of what people to see today was built in 1703 and was then known as Buckingham House. Pictured: A summer 2020 photo of the palace

A house has stood on the site of Buckingham Palace since the late 17th-Century, when King James I was on the throne. However, the building which forms the core of what people to see today was built in 1703 and was then known as Buckingham House. Pictured: A summer 2020 photo of the palace

Built from Bath Stone, the style of the current palace reflects the French neo-classical influence favoured by George IV.

Nash’s work also saw the north and south wings demolished and rebuilt on a bigger scale, with a triumphal arch added. 

However, the cost of the project had escalated to nearly £500,000 by 1829. George IV’s successor, William IV, took on another architect to finish the work but never ended up living in the palace.

Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to live in the renovated home. She moved in in July 1837. 

However, the Queen and her new husband Albert quickly realised there were no nurseries and too few bedrooms for visitors. 

A fourth wing was therefore built and the Marble Arch was moved to the north-east corner of Hyde Park. 

An attic floor was also added to the main block of the palace. The work was completed in 1847. 

In 1913, the decision was made to replace the facade of the palace and Sir Aston Webb was commissioned to produce a new design. It was made with Portland Stone and took 13 weeks to complete the work. 

The palace’s main forecourt was formed in 1911, as were the gates and railings.  

The garden

The Buckingham Palace garden is the large private park attached to the palace. 

It is bounded by Constitution Hill to the north, Hyde Park Corner to the west, Grosvenor Place to the south-west, and the Royal Mews, Queen’s Gallery, and Buckingham Palace itself to the south and east.

The garden is Grade II listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. King James I planted a mulberry plantation for rearing silkworms where the garden is now located. 

The garden still boasts a mulberry tree which dates back to the reign of James I. 

The green space is not usually open to the public but visitors are allowed in to part of it during August and September because it forms part of the exit following the paid-for tour of the palace.

People who attend palace garden parties will also be able to experience the garden.  

The Buckingham Palace garden is the large private park attached to the palace. It is bounded by Constitution Hill to the north, Hyde Park Corner to the west, Grosvenor Place to the south-west, and the Royal Mews, Queen's Gallery, and Buckingham Palace itself to the south and east

The Buckingham Palace garden is the large private park attached to the palace. It is bounded by Constitution Hill to the north, Hyde Park Corner to the west, Grosvenor Place to the south-west, and the Royal Mews, Queen’s Gallery, and Buckingham Palace itself to the south and east

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