Sandringham lawn being revamped to become biodiverse topiary garden

Sandringham lawn being revamped to become biodiverse topiary garden

A lawn at theRoyal Family’s country retreat that was used to grow vegetables during the Second World War is to be revamped into a “climate friendly” topiary garden.

The plan is seen as a way to help the current lawn at theSandringham Estate, in Norfolk, after it suffered during bouts of warm weather and heavy rainfall.

It also aims to create “joy for visitors and increase biodiversity”, according to a statement on the Sandringham Estate website.

Sandringham has been the private home to generations of British monarchs since 1862. FollowingQueen Elizabeth's death last year, the estate passed to her sonKing Charles III.

Work inside the formal gardens at the Sandringham west lawn in Norfolk is set to start on January 23 and run to mid-May.

The site to the west side of Sandringham House was a formal parterre garden in the 1800s and was used to grow vegetables for the “Dig for Victory” campaign during the Second World War.

Top soil and turf which will be removed when an acre of land is cleared, redeveloped and replanted is to be reworked into the topiary garden.

The statement says: “In recent years, with changing weather patterns the current expanse of lawn has been affected by warm weather and excessive rainfall.

“The newly developed garden will introduce new species that are more robust, hardy and better able to withstand the impact of emerging weather patterns.”

Changes are set to include “increased naturalistic planting to the area to improve biodiversity”.

It is hoped the garden that has been designed to provide seasonal colour from its flowers will also “create a rich source for pollinators and the provision of new habitats”.

Some 5,139 yew tree hedging plants in a range of sizes and shapes will be used in the topiary.

More than 4,280 herbaceous perennial plants and bulbs including Veronicastrum (Veronica), delphinium, phlox, echinacea, lavender and other versatile species are also to be used.

Yellow and pink rose, including varieties such as Gabriel Oak, Skylark and Charles Darwin, are also set to feature.

A series of gravel paths, new plants and flowers, a maze of paths and sloping banks are to be straightened during the revamp.

Sandringham was bought for £220,000 for Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, in 1862 as a country home for him and his future wife, Princess Alexandra of Denmark.

Following his death in 1910, the estate passed to Edward's son and heir, George V, who described the house as "dear old Sandringham, the place I love better than anywhere else in the world".

The estate then passed to his son Edward VIII and, at his abdication, it was purchased by Edward's brother, George VI – who died at Sandringham on 6 February 1952.

On the King's death, it passed to his daughter Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen spent about two months each winter on the Sandringham Estate, including Christmas and the anniversary of her father's death.

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