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Historic Royal Palaces blog

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

Insights and behind the scenes from our palaces

Mary, Marchioness of Downshire: A Life in Miniature

07 June 2024

Research and Interpretation Producer Emma Lawthers takes a brief glimpse into the lives of the Mary and the Hill family of Hillsborough Castle, as seen through the lens of a very unique object.

Growing sustainable peas and beans in the Kitchen Garden

30 May 2024

Kitchen Garden and Vine Keeper Hilary Theaker explores the importance of planting peas and beans in Hampton Court's Kitchen Garden.

Jean Tijou's Screen at Hampton Court: The Adventurous Life of a Masterpiece

15 April 2024

The glorious 300-year-old Tijou Screen marks the southern boundary of the Privy Garden at Hampton Court Palace, next to the River Thames. It was designed for William III and Mary II in 1689 by Jean Tijou – one of the greatest ironworkers who ever lived.

Saving our Baroque Box Hedging at Hampton Court Palace

15 February 2024

Senior Gardener Amy Borthwick explains a new 'Box Battle' going on deep within the Privy Garden of Hampton Court Palace, and the plans to save it.

Celebrating Hillsborough Castle's Moss Walk

09 March 2020

Although moss gardens are a relatively common sight in Japan there are very few in the UK and Ireland. So it's special for us that one of the best examples in Northern Ireland is at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens! Gardens Manager Claire Woods introduces Hillsborough's Moss Walk.

Mistletoe in the Hampton Court Palace Gardens

20 December 2019

One of the most popular questions posed to our gardeners during winter concerns strange lumps of weed growing in trees in the East Front garden. These random and odd-looking growths are in fact clumps of mistletoe.

New life for the glasshouse at Hillsborough Castle

20 December 2019

It's been an exceptionally busy year for the gardens team at Hillsborough Castle, with the doors to the extensive estate thrown open to the public every day for the first time. Time has also been found to transform the glasshouse, a modest but attractive corner of the gardens that had long been overlooked.

Hampton Court's worst enemy: how we deal with the mealybug

21 October 2019

At Hampton Court we look after 60 acres of formal gardens and hundreds of thousands of plants, making these mealybug pests some of our worst enemies.

A tour of Kew's Kitchen Garden

10 September 2019

Like Kew Palace and the Royal Kitchens, the Kitchen Garden is open seasonally to visitors, from April to October. But work in the garden continues all year round. Let's take a tour...

Displaying Queen Mary II's Exoticks Collection

28 August 2019

You may well have heard of Queen Mary II's Exoticks Collection or seen the plants in the gardens or in the glasshouse nurseries at Hampton Court. If you haven't, here is a brief description so you'll know what to look out for on your next visit.