The Queen has recorded a short message for this week's special edition of Gardeners' Question Time.The programme celebrates its 70th anniversary of the programme. The Queen's message was recorded from Balmoral Castle, while the programme itself was recorded in Frogmore House, a Royal Residence near Windsor Castle.
In the recording, The Queen reveals that 'Frogmore House and Garden holds a special place in my family’s affection' and describes that the grounds 'remains a wonderfully relaxing environment.' Listen to Her Majesty's message below:
Just half a mile south of Windsor Castle, Frogmore House and Gardens has been a Royal Residence for over 200 years. Queen Charlotte bought Frogmore in 1792, employing the architect James Wyatt to transform the house and grounds. Since then it has become a cherished retreat for several members of The Royal Family. The Queen's parents The Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) even spent part of their honeymoon there – more about the history of the house here.
During the programme, Keeper of the Gardens, John Anderson, takes listeners on a walk through the grounds to explain the different elements, from banks adorned with primroses, cherry trees and wildflowers to encourage bees and butterflies.
'In the 35 acres of The Frogmore Gardens, you've got many hidden areas and meandering paths that take you to all different areas, not revealing it all on one plane' he explains. The grounds were designed in keeping with the picturesque movement – but also include later additions, notably from Queen Victoria, who added a Tea House in the 1870s.
'It has a perfect location in that it takes the full sun; it has a wonderful wisteria – clamouring all across the edge of the building. You can imagine sitting in this, taking your afternoon tea.'
As most of the trees in the grounds date back to the 18th and 19th century, Anderson explains how it is necessary for the team to maintain the garden, undertaking more planting to ensure the garden lasts into the future – 'We're looking at planting new cherry trees for April and May, when Her Majesty is here.'
'When it comes to Frogmore because it is such a special garden, I will often have a meeting with Her Majesty and have a walk around to put ideas out of what I hope she likes. If she approves,' reveals John. 'We will get on it. And we hope she enjoys it.'
For John's interview in full, listen to the episode of Gardeners' Question Time here.
The Queen opens Frogmore House and Gardens each year in early spring for charity, find out how to visit here.