The Prince of Wales recounts his childhood passion for the palace gardener


Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales has spoken of his affection for a “splendid” gardener who helped him and the Princess Royal with their “little garden” during their childhood.

Speaking to poet laureate Simon Armitage, Charles said he and his sister Anne had a “little vegetable patch” and “had a lot of fun” as young people trying to grow tomatoes.

And he said there was “nothing to beat” for eating locally grown foods, as he suggested it was important to encourage children to grow their own produce.

The prince said: “My sister and I had a little vegetable patch at the end of a border somewhere. We had a lot of fun trying to grow tomatoes with no luck, and things like that.

Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales (left) with Poet Laureate Simon Armitage at a meeting at his Welsh home in Myddfai, Wales (Chris Jackson / PA)

He went on to tell Radio 4’s The Poet Laureate Has Gone To His Shed: “There was a wonderful head gardener at Buckingham Palace, his name was Mr. Nutbeam, rather beautifully.

“It was gorgeous, and helped my sister and I a bit with the little garden we had. “

He added: “There is nothing to beat, is there, I think, eating what you have grown? This is another reason why I always think it is so important to find ways to encourage children to grow vegetables and things in school.

Later, discussing the attitude of younger generations towards the environment, Charles said: “I don’t want to be around my grandchildren and other people’s grandchildren saying ‘ Why didn’t you do something when you could? ‘ “

The prince also recounted how the late poet Ted Hughes, whom he “admired so much and got to know quite a bit”, gave him advice on how to remember the names of plants.

He told Mr Armitage: “I remember I once said to him ‘I can’t remember all the names of these plants, it drives me crazy’.

Simon armitage
Simon Armitage is the 21st Poet Laureate (Victoria Jones / PA)

“He said ‘Ah, what you have to do is’ – a typical and wonderful poet, only a poet could think like that I think -‘ you have to see what the name conjures up, what image does it give you. in your mind? ‘

“And then he said what you will find, if you practice, and that’s my problem is to practice it, then you have the word association with the image that you created and that will bring it back to you. memory much better than a word will.

Charles ‘Welsh home, Llwynwermod, was the backdrop for the conference, which also saw the men talk about Charles’ fondness for trees and the need to protect them from diseases of species such as ash and the elm.

They also spoke about humanity’s relationship with the planet, Charles stating: this. “

The conversation features in Mr. Armitage’s The Poet Laureate Has Gone To His Shed, which will air on Radio 4 and BBC Sounds at 7.15 p.m. on Saturday, August 28.

The interview is the latest in the series which has included interviews with Harry Potter author JK Rowling, Jo Wiley and Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr.


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