QUEEN UNVEILS ORGANIC VEGETABLE GARDEN AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE
The credit crunch has seen a massive rise in allotments as many Britons want to live the “Good Life” and grow their own vegetables. Now the Queen is following in the footsteps of Britons everywhere by having her own organic vegetable plot at her Buckingham Palace gardens. Her Majesty is also following in the footsteps of new First Lady Michelle Obama who recently created a vegetable garden at The White House. The Queen, who attends the Chelsea Flower Show every year, has always had a keen interest in gardens. Vegetables are now growing alongside ornamental plants in the royal gardens, for the first time since the Second World War. Liquid seaweed is being used to cultivate them rather than chemicals. The Queen and Prince Philip will soon be able to savour the fruits of their gardeners’ labours as a range of produce including beetroot, carrots, runner beans and leeks are grown and cultivated in their gardens. The Palace gardens are regularly used for Royal family celebrations and official entertaining and are the scene of the Queen’s annual Summer garden parties. They were recently opened to the public for the first time in 200 years. For £20 a ticket, visitors can now wander round what has been described as “a large oasis” in the centre of London. The gardens are the largest of their kind in the capital and apart from the many varieties of trees and wild flowers, tourists can also view the Palace tennis court where Fred Perry played against George VI in the 30’s. The garden also boasts the oldest private helicopter pad in central London. Public tours run in April, May and June, when the Queen is not in residence and are limited to twenty five visitors at a time. All monies from the tours go towards the upkeep of the gardens.
Britons have often turned their backs to the land in times of crisis, so it is no surprise that allotments have become so popular in the current recession-hit times. Millions of Britons became vegetable gardeners during World War Two, in a bid to feed their families healthily in times of rationing. Allotments were first created in Victorian times to feed factory workers and encourage them to eat healthily. However in modern times, allotments have now crossed the class barriers, providing a relaxing, healthy and money saving pastime for today’s stressed workers. Certainly there is nothing more rewarding than growing, harvesting and eating your own fruit and vegetables. They are also much healthier than their supermarket counterparts which are often full of pesticides. You can hear more about the Royal allotment by clicking on the player shown below:-