Keeper of the Queen’s gardens

Grayshott Gardeners had been looking forward to John Anderson’s talk on Royal Gardens and we were not disappointed: with nearly 5000 acres comprising the Savill Garden and the Valley Gardens as well as the private garden at Frogmore House, there was plenty to talk about, including the Park’s history and royal connections going back several centuries, John’s travels in India, Chile, Australia and South Africa to search out plants, and the highlight of having to provide the greenery decorations for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

We heard about the difficulty of balancing stress placed on the park by the 6 million visitors annually, climate change forcing the team to seek out suitable plants for future planting, and threats such as the Xylella fastidiosa bacterial pest currently devastating olive orchards in Southern Europe.

However, a series of beautiful photographs of the Woodland Gardens, seasonal garden pictures, Valley views and individual plants provided evidence of how well the gardening team is coping with the aforementioned difficulties. The opening slide of the Long Walk and Deer Park was particularly striking, and on its own sufficient temptation to visit Windsor Great Park.

John wound up his entertaining and informative talk by answering questions from the audience. More information, including opening times, is available at