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LIVE24SEVEN // Property & Interiors G A RDENING – WI T H C AMI L L A B A S S E T T - SMI T H Historic Royal Palaces


Through The Garden Gate


As the nights draw in, our media horticulturalist, Camilla Bassett-Smith, invites you to a garden of peace and serenity which lights the way for some regal reflection.


20 years ago this month we joined Sir Elton John in saying goodbye to England’s rose – but like the best classic blooms that impact our lives, their memory never fades.


In the gardens of Kensington Palace, Princess Diana’s home for many years, a garden has been created in her honour and it sparkles just as brightly as this remarkable lady did.


The historic sunken garden began life in 1909 and was laid out in a 17th century Dutch style, but this year and for a few months only, it has been transformed to a white garden in celebration of Diana’s life.


Probably the best known white garden is that at Sissinghurst and it is a style which many now re-create, keen to surround themselves with the elegance and sophistication which go hand in hand with the planting.


Gardeners at Kensington Palace were inspired by Diana’s style and in particular images of many of her most famous outfits currently on display at Kensington Palace. When I think of Diana in white, surely her most iconic image is that of the clouds of silk surrounding her on that national day of celebration in 1981 – I can well remember waving little flags at the television, Brandy my dog equally excited in matching Union Flag hat! The dress was of course created by David & Elizabeth Emanuel, whose daughter was at school with me in Cheltenham. I met David on many term time occasions, usually choral based and a more charming man you could not wish to meet.


Anyway, back to the plants – thousands of bulbs erupted in spring from tulips to daffodils, followed by masses of white forget-me-nots – a favourite of the Princess. Prince Harry apparently named his Sentebale charity after the flower as this is the name for them in the local Lesotho dialect. This mist of white has continued ever


/ 70


Camilla Bassett-Smith


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