10 Garden Ideas Sparked by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are settled in their new home at Kensington Palace, they might be taking time to enjoy the famous gardens. We can't all have a royal garden for our own backyard, but we can steal some inspiration from them!
The Sunken Garden
The Sunken Garden is the centerpiece of the gardens at Kensington Palace and the perfect spot for a quiet stroll – in fact, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s official press conference to announce their engagement was hosted here. Usually decked out with bright summer colors, this garden was re-named the White Garden and planted with white blooms to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death.
The patio paving in the Sunken Garden makes it accessible whatever the weather, and no muddy feet! If you’ve got some patio pavers that have sunken or dipped, check out our 4-step method for resetting them.
A Living Tunnel
When the sun shines, you need a shady spot from which to survey your garden, and a living tunnel is the perfect solution. The Cradle Walk (so-called because the local nannies used to walk their babies here), is formed of red lime trees that overlook the Sunken Garden.
Creating a sheltered tunnel takes time, but with patience, you could make your own, and if red lime doesn’t appeal to you, why not try living willow? Or for an archway on a smaller scale, this garden arbor is ideal.
Topiary Bushes and Hedging
Nothing screams well-tended garden better than topiary bushes and hedging, and of course, all royal gardens are managed with loving attention. Highgrove House, home to Prince Harry’s father Prince Charles, boasts neatly trimmed bushes and hedging in The Thyme Walk. Box hedging is a popular choice for topiary, because of the small leaves, but other species such as beech and yew work just as well.
Well-trimmed hedges and bushes give your home great curb appeal—and here are more tips about how to make your home look more attractive from the street.
Even a royal garden needs some fencing, and one the most beautiful features of the Kensington Palace gardens is the gilded ironwork. The ornate scrollwork flourishes and gilded highlighting show that metal fences don’t have to be merely functional.
If you have ironwork in your backyard, you’ll know that regular painting is the key to keeping it looking pristine, and good preparation is essential. Our guide to restoring metal ready for painting tells you everything you need to know.
No garden is complete without some running water! There’s nothing as soothing as listening to the sound of a fountain as you relax in a comfy lounger or hammock. The fountains at Kensington Palace make use of stone urns discovered when the building was being renovated, and fit the classic garden décor perfectly.
You can easily make a stone fountain to add a royal touch to your garden. Just follow our step-by-step guide.
Of course, pots and urns also look great when planted with flowers. The urns at Kensington Palace are made from marble, but if you’re looking for a more affordable option, then stoneware or terra-cotta pots are excellent choices. Tall planters look great with a riot of colored blooms tumbling over the side or use some tall grasses for a more structured feel.
Large planters can be very heavy when filled with soil, but here’s a clever trick to make moving them easier on your back!
In summer, the garden at Kensington Palace often displays beds and borders packed with hot colors – reds, yellows and oranges. Choosing colors that blend well together, as well as considering height and texture, will give you a flower bed that looks amazing.
If you need a little help finding plants with vibrant colors, here are 49 options to choose from.
A Single-Color Palette
A garden featuring every color in the rainbow can make a real statement, but sometimes the more muted look of a single-color planting can be stunning too. As well as the White Garden, royal gardens often have flower beds and borders planted with one color – purple is popular choice. We know that Meghan’s favorite color is pink, and she loves peonies, so we bet they’ll make an appearance at Kensington Palace Gardens soon!
Every gardener knows that keeping your garden looking at its best all year round can be a challenge. Thinking about when different flowers bloom is the key to success, and the royal gardeners are true experts at this. The pastel shades of early season bloomers like the crocus, hyacinth and narcissus are perfect in spring, hot colors are superb in summer, while deep reds and browns make a stunning backdrop in the fall.
Even in winter, it’s possible to make your garden a star attraction. Take a look at how to fill your garden with scent, color and texture in the coldest weather.
A Sturdy Tree
Prince Harry is a self-acknowledged expert on planting trees – it’s a very common royal duty. Mature trees are often a feature of royal gardens too, providing structure and color to the displays. A well-chosen tree can become a lovely centerpiece in a beautiful garden.
However, don’t underestimate the space needed to grow one without it taking over your yard. Sometimes a shrub is a better choice, so why not choose from these 10 flowering shrubs?